Application of a Multimedia Manikin System for Preclinical Dental Education | BMC medical training


In the endodontic trainings, the scores of the MM group were higher than those of the TM group, but there was no significant difference (P = 0.379 > 0.05). However, the prosthodontic training scores of the MM group were significantly higher than those of the TM group (P= 0.018

Although the role of the clinical instructor is to ensure that students receive preclinical skills through different learning modalities, the role of advanced technologies is also very important. [18]. Built-in devices compensated for the shortcomings of traditional mannequins in teaching and handling. The operational scoring results of this study indicated that the use of a multimedia manikin system was ultimately better than traditional manikins for teaching and learning. The results of the questionnaire showed that the students were satisfied with the new device in terms of user-friendliness, clarity and efficiency. Almost all free student feedback was positive. Some typical comments were: “Easy to use and interactive. “It motivates me to acquire more knowledge.” “It’s fun and engaging.” Including student perceptions in the educational process is considered a key element in monitoring the quality of academic programs [19]. The results indicated that in the studied groups, the multimedia manikin system played a positive role in their preclinical dental training.

Traditional preclinical training courses were usually taught by teachers based on manuals and demonstrations. Since the students could not see many manipulations in the dummy’s mouth, the teacher had to repeat the demonstrations. As a result, considerable time was spent on demonstrations. The multimedia manikin system made it possible to transfer all the image data from the teacher’s computer to the students’ computers in real time. Leveraging its sophisticated teaching equipment and unique audio-visual advantages, the multimedia manikin system combines instructional tutorials, images, video materials and real-time demonstrations. These features provide visual and auditory information to students, making abstract theory visual. This teaching method greatly enlivened the classroom atmosphere and increased students’ interest in learning. Also, students get a first impression of the operation steps before watching the demonstration. The simulation system can completely simulate the clinical operation, which ensures the standardization of the operation and teaching of the teacher. During the preclinical training courses, the students could carefully observe and imitate each precise and subtle demonstration, and get a concrete impression of the clinical operation in a limited time. As a result, most students start practicing after a single demonstration by the instructor. When a difficult operation was encountered, students asked for details of the operation. However, in general, the number of repetitions was reduced.

Students can even consolidate and revise after the teacher’s presentation, as the multimedia system contains relevant online learning materials, such as photos and videos. In addition to teacher lessons, e-learning can also be used for effective and diverse extended learning [20]. Well-designed e-learning teaching materials can help students consolidate their existing knowledge and skills in important subjects and provide an enjoyable learning experience. [21]. A great advantage of e-learning is that it frees the interactions between learners and trainers or between learners and learners from the constraints of time and space. [22]. In multimedia systems, e-learning can increase self-learning efficiency and save instructor resources and costs.

In addition, the multimedia-assisted mannequin system has advantages in terms of communication between teachers and students. In the TM group, the teacher guided and corrected students’ skills through inspection. In this traditional approach, it was not easy for the instructor to observe the entire handling of each student and provide immediate feedback. In addition, many operating errors have not been corrected due to ineffective pedagogical support and poor understanding of the program by students. The teaching method based on the multimedia mannequin system could solve the problem to some extent. While the students operated independently, the instructor could use the teacher’s operating system to capture the image on the students’ recording devices and to observe the students’ operation. Students could also ask questions using the software’s hands-up function.

Third, in the approach of using the dummy with a multimedia system, students have a fair chance and perspective of seeing demonstrations because each seat is equipped with the same clear images. In addition to educational benefits, multimedia manikin systems also offer many operational improvements over traditional manikins. Simulation training is popular with medical and dental students [3, 23, 24] because it allows learners to develop clinical skills without fear of harming patients, helps retain didactic information and repeat essential skills, creates a positive learning experience, and increases student motivation and satisfaction [25, 26]. The manikin used in this study is a type II homogeneous manikin system that included a simulated homogeneous jaw frame, face mask, skull cover, and simulation shoulder that fully simulated the structure of the human body. These designs and configurations greatly address the frequently expressed need of dental students for more realistic dental models and ease students’ transition from the classroom to the clinic. [27].

Given the limitations of traditional mannequins in handling and teaching, students and teachers need new and improved teaching methods. Digital and multimedia education will definitely become a trend of the future [28]. In recent years, digital interactive systems have played an important and unique role in the educational process. [29]. They have been used as a complement to classroom presentations and lab instruction and have developed into a modern model of one-to-many education. [30]. Extensive analyzes of simulation studies in various branches of medicine have shown that high simulation can facilitate learning in the right environment. [31]. With the progress of times and the development of science and technology, we have reason to believe that this new teaching method will be further developed.

There are still some limitations in practice methods based on multimedia manikin systems. No technological development can yet simulate real patients. In addition, the one-to-many teaching method based on LAN transmission is affected by the available network, so the network delay will affect the quality of teaching. Although this method greatly expands the field of view, when complex operations are required, the position and angle of the camera are limited and students still cannot observe the instructor’s demonstration. In addition, the resolution of the computer image is lower than that of human vision, and errors exist between the computer and microscope images. Some delicate operations and their results depend on human vision rather than the computer screen.

In addition, the mannequin itself has flaws. Since the dummy is only a representation of a person, some students are rude and disregard the feelings of the “patient”. This attitude hindered the achievement of satisfactory practice results. Since the manikin lacks the muscles and tissues of the lips and cheeks, it may not achieve the level of manipulation required by the clinic.


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