Integrated learning in dentistry: baseline data and first evaluation at the Dental School of Basel

Authors


Dr Clemens Walter
Department of Peridontology, Endodontology and Cariology
University of Basel,
Hebelstrasse 3
Basel 4056
Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 267 2623
Fax: +41 61 267 2659
e-mail: clemens.walter@unibas.ch

Abstract

Introduction:  Integrated learning modules were introduced and baseline information was collected, in order to identify the expectations regarding e-learning. Furthermore, first formative evaluation of fourth-year dental students was conducted and the experience gained with summative online assessment was reported.

Methods:  Questionnaires designed by Infratest dimap (Berlin, Germany) were distributed to undergraduate students (n = 72) of the School of Dentistry. The fourth-year dental students went through a preliminary evaluation process. An online test was evaluated and compared with a traditional examination.

Results:  Sixty-three questionnaires were returned. Sixty-five per cent of the students were already familiar with e-learning. All but one student owned at least one personal computer or laptop. Ninety-one per cent of the students expected positive effects from the integration of online modules. Enhanced flexibility regarding time and location as well as comfortable access to learning materials were mentioned most frequently. Ninety per cent of the students expected to achieve better results by finding it easier to understand learning materials produced with multimedia tools. Sixty per cent of the students feared technical complications when using an online platform. The online test was successfully performed. A formative evaluation process demonstrated agreement between expectations and first experiences with e-learning.

Conclusions:  Most students expect the quality of their studies to improve by implementation of e-learning. Students appreciating regularly updated learning materials particularly emphasise the importance of its visualisation. Online tests might be an option for student’s self-performance rating.

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