Computer literacy and attitudes of dental students and staff at the University of the West Indies Dental School
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard
European Journal of Dental Education
Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 179–183, August 2009
How to Cite
Smith, W., Bedayse, S., Lalwah, S. L. and Paryag, A. (2009), Computer literacy and attitudes of dental students and staff at the University of the West Indies Dental School. European Journal of Dental Education, 13: 179–183. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0579.2009.00571.x
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2009
- Accepted: 20 January 2009
- computer literacy;
- University of the West Indies;
- West Indies;
- information technology
Introduction: The University of the West Indies (UWI) Dental School is planning to implement computer-based information systems to manage student and patient data. In order to measure the acceptance of the proposed implementation and to determine the degree of training that would be required, a survey was undertaken of the computer literacy and attitude of all staff and students.
Methodology: Data were collected via 230 questionnaires from all staff and students.
Results: A 78% response rate was obtained. The computer literacy of the majority of respondents was ranked as ‘more than adequate’ compared to other European Dental Schools. Respondents < 50 years had significantly higher computer literacy scores than older age groups (P < 0.05). Similarly, respondents who owned an email address, a computer, or were members of online social networking sites had significantly higher computer literacy scores than those who did not (P < 0.05). Sex, nationality and whether the respondent was student/staff were not significant factors. Most respondents felt that computer literacy should be a part of every modern undergraduate curriculum; that computer assisted learning applications and web-based learning activity could effectively supplement the traditional undergraduate curriculum and that a suitable information system would improve the efficiency in the school's management of students, teaching and clinics.
Conclusion: The implementation of a computer-based information system is likely to have widespread acceptance among students and staff at the UWI Dental School. The computer literacy of the students and staff are on par with those of schools in the US and Europe.