Technology Enhanced Learning Team


Interactive content on Tooth Morphology using Articulate

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Contributor: Dr Swati Nehete

Department: Institute of Dentistry

Brief summary

Tooth morphology is a key concept for dental students to understand and develop over the course of their BDS training.Teaching of tooth morphology begins in the first year of the BDS programme, with traditional lectures and practical sessions. Students are taught the didactic elements of identifying teeth and the anatomical features of each tooth. Being able to apply this didactic teaching when necessary in the clinical setting in later years to repair and restore teeth affected by disease requires students to recall and apply this knowledge to restore both form and function for the patient.

This ELU funded e-learning resource created using Articulate aims to support students in their understanding and continued learning of tooth morphology over the course of their programme by providing them with
an interactive peer-reviewed learning resource.


Student experience

Student focus groups identified tooth morphology as a challenging subject and had the following issues with the current teaching approach:

  • Only taught in year 1 and 2 no reinforcement
  • No means of assessing their knowledge
  • Numerous lecture and resources but no central resource for learning
  • Currently outside resources (found on the web)
  • Difficulty with the use of illustrations in current teaching

Students wanted:

  • A central resource
  • Interactivity
  • Clinical photos of ‘real teeth’
  • Content and further teaching in later years
  • Help integrating tooth morphology with practical applications later on
  • Assessment/ quizzes with feedback

Pedagogical approach

The approach for addressing these needs is based on a pedagogy of expertise. E-learning will be used to support and reinforce the learning of tooth morphology from year 1 through to year 5. By providing students with content using a blended approach and a variety of learning styles supported by interactivity and self assessment. The content is matched to the students level of understanding and help them to relate tooth morphology to clinical practice. As an e-resource the content will be available to students throughout their programme whenever and as often as they need it.


Target Audience

The first phase of the project was designed for year one and two students and focused on the permanent dentition. This will be developed further for the requirements for year three and four students relating to endodontic teaching. The resource will then also be developed for the primary dentition.

Aims and Objectives

This programme aims to offer a learning resource for year one and two students.

AIM: To enhance the teaching and learning of tooth morphology in the BDS curriculum

This programme objectives are to:

  • Develop a blended interactive learning tool to enhance the teaching and help students consolidate their understanding of tooth morphology.

On completing the programme, users will be able to:

  1. List the functions of teeth
  2. Outline the terminology used to describe tooth features and surfaces
  3. Be able to identify tooth features and surfaces
  4. Describe the component tissues of the tooth
  5. Distinguish between tooth types
  6. Cite tooth numbering nomenclatures
  7. Describe permanent central and lateral incisors, canines, premolars and molars
  8. Describe the main differences between left and right, maxillary and mandibular permanent teeth
  9. Identify any isolated permanent anterior and posterior tooth using crown and root features.


The project started with a review of current teaching materials and focus groups with students of various years. This helped to identify (i) the current low level of engagement from staff and students with this teaching. (ii) the areas for development in line with student needs (iii) need for a multisensory tool for blended learning (iv) Variation and escalation of educational complexity for year 3,4,5

Dr Fiona Clarke prepared Section 1 and the template for the sections 2,3,4. Dr Nehete and Dr Woodhoo ran the focus groups and summarised their findings to review the objectives. Mr Audsley managed the project and trained everyone in the use of the software Articulate.

Funding was secured from the E-Learning Unit to employ one student from Year 2 and Year 4 each. The students photographed 32 teeth in 6 planes. While one student prepared the labels for the photographs, the second student prepared the slides for the e – learning resource. The photographs were quality assured and entered into a template produced by Dr Clarke and Mr Audsley. Mr Audsley worked closely with the students to ensure quality assurance. Rigorous testing was carried out by the team to ensure the academic content and quiz material aligned to the learning objectives. Feedback was sought from colleagues over the August period.

Mr Audsley received all the feedback and refined the resource. The project is now complete and ready for general release. It is important to note that this project is a start to a developing content which will need to be modified and varied for use in Years 3,4 and 5. I hope that Queen Mary is able to support further development to ensure the completion of projects targeted for Years 3,4,5.


This e-learning tool has been designed to be integrated with current teaching using a blended learning approach in year 1/2.

All content has been presented with clear navigation and signposting to guide the user. The content has been divided into 4 sections each of which is accessible from the menu. Interactive questions are presented throughout. The feedback encourages users and provides the most recent research evidence (with reference to sources). See below –

Programme Content


  • present the aims of the programme
  • provides an overview of the content
  • explains how to use it
  • contain the selection screen for entry to the 4 sections.

Section 1 – Terminology and definitions

Section 2 – Virtual Tooth Atlas

Section 3 – What tooth is this?

Section 4 – Test your knowledge


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