Implementing a Digital Case Study as a Clinical Assessment Tool in Dental and Allied Dental Education

Publication ID Published Volume
9672 January 19, 2014 10


This resource is designed to help faculty implement a digital case study as an assessment tool in a clinical dental or allied dental course. A case study designed on the ADPIED process of care, a model proven to promote critical thinking may be used throughout the allied dental or dental curriculum. The case study template used for five years in a clinical dental hygiene course can be manipulated to fit program requirements. This faculty guide presents best practices as determined from student and faculty feedback. Guidelines include methods and suggestions for students to convert paper patient records into digital documents as well as how to use screen shots of digital patient records. The templates and documents provided in this Faculty Guide are for faculty use as long as appropriate credit is given.

This assessment tool was developed during the summer of 2007 as part of a graduate course. The template evolved from one used in graduate work that was more detailed and required advanced skills in non-surgical periodontal therapy as well as following a patient through the surgery phase of periodontal therapy. To better assess the undergraduate student, the ADPIED process of care was used because ADPIED is recognized as a model for promoting critical thinking and clinical judgment. This case study module was adapted to meet the needs of the student who had completed preclinical courses and whose learning needs were related to synthesizing preclinical theory with clinical experiences.

This digital case study has been used in clinical courses at a dental hygiene program since 2007 when it was first implemented. Students include this case study in their electronic portfolios and report positive feedback from potential employers. This case study template was shared with attendees at an ADEA Workshop in 2010 called Portraits of Learning.


Wetmore A. Implementing a digital case study as a clinical assessment tool in dental and allied dental education. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2014;10:9672.

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. Identify the benefits of implementing a digital case study assessment in a dental or allied dental clinical course.
  2. Formulate a strategy using the available template and documents to implement a digital case study assessment in a dental or allied dental clinical course.
  3. Employ suggested methods from this module to design a digital case study to assess clinical competence in dental or allied dental education.
  4. Value the use of technology as a mode of assessing competency in a dental or allied dental clinical course.


  • Case Study, Case Reports, Electronic Portfolio, Process of Care, Critical Thinking, Clinical Judgment, Comprehensive Health Care, eHealth, Public Health Sciences, Population Health, Technology

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ISSN 2374-8265