Spring 2005 Table of Contents
News from the College
Innovations in Clinical Teaching


The curriculum can be accessed on a PDA.

Richard Gruffi, '07, views the curriculum on a CD.

A student uses a Wi-Fi connection in Nagle Lecture Hall to view the fixed restoration curriculum on his laptop.

Left to right: Dr. Peter C. Furnari, Dr. William F. Skiba, Dr. Meir Kozlovsky, Dr. Kumar Shanmugam

Meir Kozlovsky, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of General Dentistry and Management Science

Last summer, my colleagues and I in the preclinical teaching program, Drs. Peter Furnari, William Skiba, and Kumar Shanmugam, realized that there was a huge disconnect between the ultramodern, state-of-the-art facility in which we were teaching and the traditional instructional methods we were using.

Here we were, teaching in a $7 million, high-tech clinical simulation and laboratory technology center. But our teaching approach was distinctly last century. We were teaching a lab course, which should be hands-on, but spending virtually all of our time lecturing, leaving students to learn from a lab manual. Then, it hit us: The way to present the curriculum more effectively was to make the revolutionary new technology surrounding us both the key and the tool. So we did.

During the summer, our team thoroughly revised the way we teach core clinical skills. We produced a series of eight streaming videos featuring expert clinicians demonstrating and describing clinical procedures step-by-step. The new videos present alginate impression technique, ergonomics and the simulation unit, posterior crown preparation #29, posterior crown preparation #31, bevel placement and three-unit preparation review, analysis of centric position and excursive movements, anterior crown preparation #8, and anterior crown preparation #6. Our team was solely responsible for filming, editing, and final formatting of the videos.

Using their computers, students can access these larger-than-life audiovisual presentations 24 hours a day. They can enlarge images, pause, review, or link to the supporting literature available on NYU's digitized dental curriculum. The streaming videos use two different camera angles to illustrate each clinical procedure in three dimensions. They also provide extremely detailed close-ups, which older videos could not do, and they can be downloaded.

In addition to promoting more effective learning by giving students greater control over how they learn, this approach has also meant more effective teaching, because it has enabled standardization of what is taught by all the instructors in the preclinical lab. Another benefit of this approach is that it lends itself to whatever clinical technique is being taught in a particular year. Indeed, there is no topic in the curriculum that cannot be taught more effectively by bringing it online in a video.

Last fall, returning sophomores -- the Class of 2007 -- became the first class to experience the new, live, on-demand videos. And judging both by their comments and their test scores, the results have been extremely positive. More recently, we have adopted technology that allows students to view the videos on a PDA. The next step is to incorporate the new videos into the digitized curriculum.

It is a point of pride that NYUCD today uses streaming videos as both a teaching and a learning method. I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that the entire project, while certainly labor intensive, was a labor of love.