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Abstract

The primary aim of this study was to determine perceptions of three cohorts of third year undergraduate students (n=65) on in-class reflective group discussion as a critical reflective approach for evolving professionals. Reflective group discussions were embedded into a final year course within the University of Queensland Bachelor of Oral Health program iteratively over three years. Reflective practices were integrated with clinical practice, and were linked with assessment requirements. Students’ perceptions of reflective group discussions were obtained via questionnaires and reflective essays. The key benefits of reflective group discussions perceived by students included peer learning, peer and/or tutor support and multi-perspective critical thinking. Students welcomed the inclusion of reflective group discussions into their curriculum, not as a substitute of, but rather, complementary to reflective writing. Students invoked that reflective writing and reflective group discussions were beneficial in different ways. The interactive, supportive and multi-perspective nature of reflective group discussions was particularly appealing to students.

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