Date of Award

Spring 2021


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: Millennials have unique needs as learners and have come to expect the use of technology in education. Utilizing technology to implement formative virtual objective structured clinical examinations (vOSCEs) may engage millennial students due to the non-linear nature and active pedagogy while also preparing them for provisional or full licensing exams. The purpose of this study was to determine what implications there may be for future formative vOSCE use in dental hygiene programs by assessing dental hygiene student and clinic faculty experience with vOSCEs.

Methods: Research was from a qualitative perspective. The design was a retrospective phenomenological cohort study utilizing respondent validation, methodological triangulation, and bracketing to minimize validity threats.

Results: Analysis of the data produced three main themes: wellbeing, process evaluation, and critical thinking. Virtual OSCEs may contribute to the wellbeing of students and faculty in relation to ergonomics and feelings of gratitude for the experience. Virtual OSCEs may also contribute to the development of critical thinking due to student verbalization of psychomotor skill, immediate feedback, and grading.

Conclusion: The essence of the vOSCE can be described as an overall positive experience with support for incorporating this formative assessment into dental hygiene program clinical curriculum. The theoretical implication of this study is that virtual OSCEs are a viable active learning and assessment strategy that may foster critical thinking development for millennial students and enhance the wellbeing of faculty and student participants. Practical implications for future vOSCE use in dental hygiene programs related to process evaluation were identified.