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Patterns of verbal interaction and student satisfaction within a clinical setting: A video‐enhanced observational study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon StoneORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background The increasingly competitive global higher education sector recognises the impact of teaching quality and a strong student voice. This means that student satisfaction is under increasing scrutiny; however, little is known about how clinical teachers actually teach. At present, the relationship between actual patterns of individual dental student-clinician interaction and student satisfaction is unclear. Aim To investigate the relationship between patterns of verbal interaction and individual student satisfaction, during dental clinical teaching encounters. Methods A total of 150 patterns of verbal interactions between Stage 2 (BDS and Hygiene and Therapy, n = 86) students and clinical teaching staff were recorded within a clinical skills environment in a Dental School in the United Kingdom. Verbal interaction analysis (VIA) was used as a basis for recording full verbal interactions between students and skills teachers. Results The length of the encounter, the amount of praise/encouragement, the level of criticism, the number of questions asked and the proportion of student talk were significant predictors of student satisfaction. The proportions of time spent with the teacher talking, time spent in silence and time spent examining the patient or clinical work were not significant predictors of student satisfaction. Further, the degree to which the teacher lectured or gave direction was not a significant predictor of student satisfaction. Conclusions A number of observed behaviours correlated significantly with increased satisfaction. Praise and the acceptance of student ideas are required to offset high levels of criticism, and the encounter seems to require structure from the clinician with an emphasis on indirect influence rather than just lecturing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Field JC, Zhang E, Milke V, McCance S, Worts C, Stone SJ, Edwards DC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Joural of Dental Education

Year: 2019

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Pages: e45-e52

Print publication date: 01/02/2019

Online publication date: 15/10/2018

Acceptance date: 20/09/2018

Date deposited: 22/10/2018

ISSN (electronic): 1396-5883

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/eje.12399


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