Giles Perryer was responsible for so many of our technicological breakthroughs in the dental course at Birmingham. Let us think back to the the legacy of Prof Perryer. First there was stand alone elearning modules such as “Wear’s the Tooth” that was delivered on a CD-Rom (1). There were several other elearning programs made for delivery via CD. Around 2000 the possibilities offered by the Internet began to be realised by a few people. In dentistry, Giles was a visionary in this area and launched the ecourse. This online learning environment was started around 2004. It was different as it consisted of animations, videos and even had a computer game on the front page where you had to avoid drilling the teeth that flew around the screen! The Ecourse become the Student’s friend and was ahead of its time. Even today’s learning environments have not caught up with the wizardry that Giles created with the Ecourse. There were many students who owe their dental career to last minute revision cramming on the site. The discussion boards allowed students to anonymously post queries about dentistry. This was revolutionary for its time and still not adopted by other systems.
The Ecourse was awarded a prize at the prestigious Times Higher Education Supplement Awards, in the Outstanding ICT Initiative category, sponsored by JISC (2)
Not content with doing the ecourse, Giles moved onto MOOC’s and developed the successful online course Dental Photography. This gained world wide acclaim and the work of Mike Sharland’s photography was showcased by the work of Giles. There there was DentalJuce, a grown up spin off from the ecourse that is still operating successfully as an online CPD elearning platform.
Giles went onto start CAFS (Clinical assessment for students) which evolved from the old computer sheets that students had to fill in for their requirements. CAFS is fully implemented in the course and is being rolled out to other dental schools around the UK and the world.
Giles was also an inspirational teacher who won several accolades for his teaching including a national teacher of the year award.
His final success was with Prof Trevor Burke when they set up the Advanced General Dental Practice MSc (Distance Learning) that recruits dentists form around the world. It uses blended learning to deliver the course to dentists who can take advantage of the distance learning nature of the course.
Giles did not wish to have a fuss made of his retirement and a few of us caught up with him in a local restaurant and we had a convivial evening remembering past times.
1. Perryer G, Walmsley AD, Barclay CW, Shaw L, Smith AJ. Development and evaluation of a stand-alone web-based CAL program. A case study. Eur J Dent Educ. 2000 Aug;4(3):118-23.
2. Dentistry at Birmingham scoops the THES award