Teaching & Learning

Office of Dental Education

Small Group Learning

The faculty of UIC College of Dentistry (COD) have transformed its long-standing undergraduate DDS degree program into a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree in which the traditional “2 x 2” structure has been replaced by a spiral curriculum that integrates foundational learning and clinical learning throughout the four-year program.

The DMD features small group learning that is interdisciplinary in nature and prompted through the use of clinical case studies developed by a team of COD faculty. These case scenarios place all learning in the context of a patient problem/concern and emphasize the relationship between systemic and oral diseases, health and prevention, family and community context, disease diagnosis and evidence based practice.

The goals of small group learning are to:

  • enhance acquisition of content knowledge,
  • develop students’ capacity to find and apply information relevant to clinical cases
  • foster higher-order reasoning skills,
  • promote accurate self-assessment and a sense of responsibility for one’s own learning, and
  • build effective communication and collaboration skills.

For small group discussions to advance these goals, small groups are led by trained facilitators who ensure:

  • adequacy of learning,
  • discussions remain on target in order to achieve specified learning objectives,
  • group dynamics are healthy and productive for all members of the group,
  • students are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning, and
  • that students work metacognitively as they proceed with the case.

The College’s SGL efforts are led by Dr. Blase P Brown, DDS.

Instructional Technology

Our service goal is to support the faculty in developing instruction using the “best practices” and the technology tools available to them.

  • Support Small Group Learning,
  • Communicate with faculty about instructional technology (i.e. news, faculty development events, and grant opportunities),
  • Support faculty in the use of classroom computer presentations, Blackboard, clickers, SoftChalk, video, online testing and other technology tools,
  • Manage COD lecture capture,
  • Create opportunities to develop faculty expertise in instructional technologies,
  • Assist faculty in applying technologies for blended instruction or distance learning.

As part of a larger university, COD shares the instructional technology infrastructure provided by the UIC Academic Computing and Communication Center (ACCC). Among the tools supported by ACCC are:

Instructional Technology tools unique to the College include:

  • AxiUm Ed
  • ExamSoft
  • iPads
  • Faculty developed learning modules

ODE Instructional Technology Services are available to faculty in room 204D on an appointment. To learn more, contact Nancy Norman at (312) 355-0357.

AxiUm ED

AxiUm ED is an educational database identical to the axiUm dental management software used in the College clinics. It was set up and designed by a team of COD faculty and residents for students to familiarize themselves with the software before they treat patients and for them to practice patient management skills.

AxiUm ED contains a number of virtual “patients” with a variety of medical and dental and behavioral issues and orofacial conditions. Students will use these “patients” to evaluate medical histories dental charts, radiographs and clinical images. As a teaching tool, AxiUm ED will be used to emphasize the relationship between systemic and oral diseases, health and prevention, family and community, diagnosis and evidence-based practice. Currently AxiUm ED is used by students in their third year of the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree program, but use by students in first and second year courses are expected to use it as well.

Please see instructions on how to log in. Additional information is available on the Intranet. AxiUm Ed can be accessed from COD computers or remotely via VPN.


Online assessment and curriculum management platform training, support, and resources.