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Keywords:

  • attitude;
  • Croatia;
  • dental students;
  • e-learning;
  • questionnaire

Abstract

Aim

To develop and test the psychometric characteristics of a questionnaire that measures attitudes towards e-learning, as well as to study attitudes about e-learning and to identify variables related to those attitudes amongst dental students.

Subject and Methods

The study was conducted from November 2010 to December 2011 at all three Croatian dental schools. A questionnaire entitled ‘Attitude Towards e-Learning’ consisting of 12 questions about socio-demographic data and 22 statements about attitude towards e-learning was self-administered by 386 students. Factorial analysis and Cronbach's alpha were used to test the psychometric characteristics of the questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify variables related to attitudes towards e-learning.

Results

Factorial analysis confirmed two factors: positive attitude and negative attitude, which interpret 58% of the total variance and had good internal consistency of α = 0.852 and 0.668, respectively. The average score of positive attitude was 42 ± 6, indicating a highly positive attitude towards e-learning. The average score of negative attitude was 27 ± 6, indicating minor negative attitude. Higher age and study year, usage of the Internet in education, more frequent usage of Facebook and more attendance of e-courses demonstrated a significant influence on positive attitude towards e-learning (R2 = 0.304; < 0.001). Lower year of study and less frequent attendance of e-courses had a significant influence on negative attitude (R2 = 0.268; < 0.001).

Conclusions

Dental students have generally positive attitudes towards e-learning. Teachers should adopt strategies to change negative attitudes by introducing more e-learning courses in lower study years and should encourage students to use the Internet in their education and communication with teachers and colleagues.