Student Life

Provisional Weekly Schedule

* Attendance at the weekly video conferencs is mandatory by every student but the time of this conference time may from year to year vary depending on student and faculty preference.
The other online activities (‡) may be undertaken/scheduled at the students’ convenience since they involve viewing lectures preparing learning needs and cases and taking quizzes which are online. Certainly some students will choose to view the lectures, do their homework and study for the quizzes and examinations in the evening or on the weekends.

Detailed Breakdown of Online Learning

Weekly lectures: All students must view each lecture from start to finish and score at least 60% on the pop-up “in-lecture” quizzes. The students viewing patterns and in-lecture quiz scores are tracked, as the lectures are online. There are typically 8-12 lectures per trimester. The student can view the lecture and take the in-lecture quiz as many times as they need to get these points.

Weekly Post-lecture quiz scores: The students must also take and pass the post-lecture-associated short multiple-choice quiz (5-10 questions) on a timely basis (no more than 2 weeks after the lecture is posted). Although the student may take the quiz twice (typically to see what they did wrong) the only score that counts however is the score from the first attempt. Advance notice for any absence is required unless an unexpected severe illness or related serious event precludes such advance planning or notification. If an emergency develops, the designated course director should be notified by phone, text or email before the session. In some cases, at the discretion of the course director, a lecture make up may be offered at the discretion of the course director.

Work project – Portfolio Cases: This course has a required portfolio building homework assignment. The student will have until the end of each module to prepare and upload their two cases, but they cannot pass the course until these cases are approved by the course director. The student must prepare a short PowerPoint presentation with audio narration (no more than 15 slides and no more than 15 minutes long per case). The project will involve the student finding and preparing two exemplar cases with a disorder relevant to the course module (e.g. Temporomandibular Disorders, Orofacial Pain or Headaches). The case preparation involves preparing a PPT for each case (no more than 15 slides each). The case must be based on at least two patients that were seen by the student in their office or on an observational practicum. The reason for two cases is that the cases will be a composite of fully de-identified patient data. Thus, it does not link back to a single patient. It will be a composite case and contain no full face photos, no names on x-rays, no names on any report generated for a patient. Once the slide deck is prepared the student must narrate the slide deck and save the file, publishing the case to a secure encrypted shared folder. The slide deck should explain the basis for the diagnosis and treatment and give some background on the mechanism of the underlying disease.  Both cases from these homework assignments must be uploaded into the course file exchange folder in Blackboard by the assigned due date. Turning in a homework assignment after this date/time will result in a zero grade for the homework and is unacceptable and may be grounds for a failing grade in the course. The homework will be assigned 50 points and will be judged by the course chair. The two cases submitted in this course will become part of the portfolio each student must submit and defend in the last trimester of their certificate program. The final portfolio will have six cases in total, or two from each of the three courses in this certificate program.

Work project – Observational Practicum and Reflective Journal: In the Hilary and Trinity trimesters of the OFP certificate program the students must attend a pain related specialty practice for (20 days in total during the program). This observational period is called an Observational Practicum. The student will need to work with their course director to find different clinics which focus on pain. The course director must approve each observational site or program director before the observation starts. It can be a neurology clinic, a pain clinic a rheumatology clinic or even an in-hospital pain centre. The student must document (without violating any patient confidentiality) the cases they observed during the practicum rotation in a weekly journal. The documentation should be done using blackboard journal and the student must write a careful reflective analysis their experiences on rotation. The successful completion of this work project will be assigned 100 points and will be judged by the course chair. The faculty (course director) will have to review, comment on and grade and each student’s reflective journal commentary on an ongoing basis as it is being written.

Video conferences: All students must attend from beginning to end each video conference (there are usually 8/12 sessions per trimester). Attendance is required even if a student is not scheduled to “present” a case and they must log in and have their camera turned on during the conference. If a student does not participate (i.e. ask a question during the various case presentations) they may be asked a question during the presentation and their response will be figured into the attendance score which will be scored 0-3 for each session. All sessions missed without a legitimate medical or a program director’s approve excuse must be made up (see below). Advance notice for any absence is required unless an unexpected severe illness or related serious event precludes such advance planning or notification. Missing a video conference means the designated course director should be notified by phone, text or email before the session. The session make up assignment is most likely to be an additional homework assignment and audio-recorded case presentation.

Assigned Video Case Write-ups and Presentations: There are two types of written documents plus oral presentations that student must provide in association with the video conference. (1) Case Commentary: Each week student must write a document which provides brief comments (2-3 sentences) on every case presented each week. The purpose of this document is to ensure that every student in attendance has read and thought about every case. This commentary file must be uploaded to the file exchange folder in blackboard by the noon deadline on the Sunday before the weekly video conference. The commentary written must be original and copied commentary from another student will be grounds for a failing grade being issued in the course. (2) Assigned Case Answers: On an every other week basis student will write-up and submit and orally present their individually assigned case. The write up of their assigned case means they must write a detailed answer to the case related questions. The questions involve some basic repeated question like what is your diagnosis, what is your treatment, etc., and some focused individual questions relevant to the unique aspects of the patient case. Students must also document the literature citation or other sources they used to write generate their answers. This Case Answers file must be uploaded to the file exchange folder in blackboard by the noon deadline on the Sunday before the weekly video conference. (3) Oral Presentation: The structure of the video conference will typically involve 10 students attending the conference however students in this program are divided into subgroups of 5 students. Each subgroup will be assigned five cases on an every other week for oral presentation. In total, each student will have six cases a trimester that they are responsible for and must present every other week. The presentations are scored on a 0-20 point basis based on the quality of the written response and the oral presentations.

Final written examination. The final exam will usually contain 50-100 multiple-choice questions (MCQ) derived directly from the weekly lectures and course manual.  Time to write the exam is 3 hours per exam. Moreover, using Zoom and a webcam we can remotely proctor the students taking the final exam. If this is logistically problematic we have the option of using a remote examination proctoring software program. The exams will have to be scheduled at a fixed time and proctored (3 hours)

Hands on (bootcamp): The bootcamp shall take place in Trinity in December (dates to be confirmed) and will contain elements from each of the three modules. It provides the essential hands on clinical skills that complement the theoretical framework of the modules. Teaching staff in attendance will be from both institutions and be coordinated by Dr. Michael O’Sullivan. The bootcamp will be completed at the Dublin Dental University Hospital.

Attending students must have taken and passed both the Neurogenic Orofacial Pain and Headache modules and be on schedule to complete the TMD module to take the Bootcamp. This element of the course will be a 1 week in length (40 hours) and occur at Trinity where a year-end assessment of the student’s knowledge will take place. During the bootcamp the student will present their six portfolio cases for defence and their reflective journal from the observational practicum for defence also. The defence section of the bootcamp will involve the teaching staff asking question related to the content in the portfolio or journal. There will also be several examination including a comprehensive MCQ based on all three Modules, an essay test based on questions drawn from the 120 video conference cases, an oral exam (viva voce) where the student will be given details from a set of 3-4 cases and asked to explain how they will work up the case and suggest management methods for the case. Finally, there will be a set of OSCE demonstrations, training and competency examinations at bootcamp including head and neck exam, myofascial pain treatment procedures, trigger point injection and botulinum toxin and TMJ injections training and testing. Student must pass these examinations to graduate successfully. The bootcamp will not involve any direct patient care at Trinity.

Click here for Student Effort hours on the one-year postgraduate certificate in Orofacial Pain.