A 5-year retrospective evaluation of undergraduate dental research projects in a Nigerian University: Graduates' perceptions of their learning experiences
Abstract Introduction: Undergraduate research projects have never been evaluated despite six decades of dental training in Nigeria. This study evaluated dental graduates' perceptions of the research project from 2013 to 2017. Methods: A cohort of 93 graduates from a Nigerian University was investigated through the use of self-administered questionnaires on a Google form platform. Analysis was done using descriptive and analytical statistics on SPSS version 16. Statistical significant level was set at P < .05. Results: The cohort showed a very good understanding of research project objectives during their undergraduate training with more male and older students independently choosing their research topics (P > .05). Students' research topics were changed by supervisors in about one-quarter and one-tenth of the male and female students, respectively. About one-third of the students met set deadlines with no significant differences amongst gender and age groups (P > .05). However, only twothirds of the students submitted their projects before the deadline due to other contending academic works. More males and older age group sought assistance from other academic staff for information on their projects. About one-half of the students reportedly acquired additional knowledge as a direct benefit from the project. Of all the variables associated with the research project, only the level of preparedness to undertake the project was highly statistically significant (P < .05) and this varied significantly amongst gender and age group (P < .05). Conclusion: The students demonstrated a good understanding of research project. The perceived level of preparedness to undertake the project was low but significantly higher in male and older age groups.