Higher-degree research being undertaken by Punyanit Rungnava




Associate Professor Lina Markauskaite and Professor Peter Goodyear

Thesis title:

Learning for dental practice by students in pre-clinical laboratory settings: Studies of simulation-based embodied practice



Project description

This PhD thesis was conducted in a simulation laboratory in one dental school in Thailand. The Purpose of this study is to investigate the preclinical laboratory course in ‘Fixed Prosthodontics’ that is operated by the DentSim system. DentSim system is a 3D virtual reality technology enhanced dental simulator used in this study (Click here for more information about DentSim system). DentSim technology has been adopted and implemented in the course for 2 years prior starting this study. There are many quantitative research studies showing the advantages of the DentSim system using a simple manikin without software; however, there is little research examining the implementation of technology in a course design to enhance the teaching and learning process.

This PhD project uses ethnographic study complimented with video observations and interviews to investigate the simulation-based embodied practice. The data has been analysed by using ‘Activity-Centered Analysis and Design’ framework as the main themes to extract the design component situated in the learning activity.

The deep understanding of simulation-based embodied practice as well as the learning environment will be used to answer the research questions of ‘what is happened in the current situation of simulation-based practice – in both valuables and problematic issues?’ and ‘how should we – as dental educators - design or redesign the simulation laboratory course?’.

Punyanit Rungnava is a PhD student at the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation. She graduated with a Master of Learning Science and Technology (Research stream) before undertaking her Doctoral degree. Her educational background is in Dentistry, specialised in Prosthodontics. She also holds a position as a dental lecturer in a department of prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. She has 10 years experience in clinical work and 6 years in teaching. When working as a dental lecturer, she helps her department with planning and design technology to support teaching and learning. She is enthusiastic to know how technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning. Her goal is to develop suitable educational designs that makes her dental students learn better. This includes the way to implement DentSim system in a pre-clinical course which is her PhD project. She would like to bring the knowledge from this project to create a simulation-based course that technology and learning materials can be used as their values.


  • ProPEL conference Scholarship 2019
  • Scholarships from Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Thailand (2015-2019)

Conference presentations