Dental education has been reviewed, and suggestions for further enhancement include the implementation of faculty development activities to enhance teaching and learning environments.
The aim of this study was to gain insight into the participants' perceptions of outcomes of faculty development for clinical teachers and clinical learning environments as well as into the sustainability of such outcomes.
The program was organized in the form of (i) a 2-day seminar; (ii) collegial supervision and development projects; and (iii) a 1-day follow-up seminar. The participants' perceptions from the five-first programs were studied. A Web-based questionnaire was sent to all participants, that is 3-27 months after completion of the program (follow-up survey).
The outcomes of the program (response rate 70%) indicate a strong impact of the program on the clinical teachers' competence and on the clinical learning environments. The teachers report that they think more about what their students really learn, have become more conscious about how they supervise and have been stimulated to become better teachers. The learning environment as well as collaboration, and calibration between teachers have improved. The novice teachers report greater benefits than do the experienced teachers. The participants initiated a variety of development projects during the program. The majority of the participants continued the development activities.
The faculty development program presented confirms that faculty development activities for clinical teachers based on theories of learning and experiences documented in the literature can be implemented with positive outcomes for individual teachers and for the learning environments.