Tracking development with new dental app

Dr Colette Balmer, Phil Jimmieson, Dr Ben Mason and Dr Luke Dawson

The University has developed an innovative educational tool aimed at improving curriculum management, student performance and the student experience with a reduced administrative workload.

The tool was designed to improve the student experience through personalised education to ensure all aspects of the curriculum of study are taught and appropriately assessed; to produce detailed personal portfolios that enhance employability; and to enable the continuous assessment of non-technical skills such as communication and professionalism.

LIFTUPP, Longitudinal Integrative Foundation Training Undergraduate to Postgraduate Pathway, was developed by Dr Luke Dawson, Dr Ben Mason and Dr Colette Balmer in the University’s Dental School and Phil Jimmieson in the Department of Computer Science.

Staff use an iPad (or web interface technology) to access LIFTUPP to assess and capture, in real-time, the performance of a student as they undertake clinical work or other aspects of their studies.  This information is uploaded into, and triangulated with, data in a master database which holds academic information including exam results, attendance data and general student registration information.  The whole database is mapped to learning outcomes identified by the General Dental Council along with Higher Education Academy Employability Profiles  and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) requirements.


Dr Dawson said: “The tool allows the students to take responsibility for their own learning and development.  Students can see their own personal developmental profile and produce action plans based on the feedback and guidance provided by all staff following continuous assessments of the student performance and skills .  LIFTUPP monitors students’ performance over the whole period of study and covers both academic and clinical areas which means that areas of underperformance can be identified early through unprecedented levels of  assessment integration.”

“LIFTUPP has generated interest from other dental and medical Schools in the UK who are interested in using it.  Furthermore, its design means it has also attracted interest from other disciplines as it can be readily adapted to any higher education programme and indeed secondary education.”

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