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Implementation of the virtual learning environment into a UK orthodontic training programme: the postgraduate and lecturer perspective


R. Shah
Orthodontic Unit
UCL Eastman Dental Institute
256 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8LD
Tel: +44 020 7915 1133
Fax: +44 020 7915 1238


The virtual learning environment (VLE) was formally introduced into the orthodontic postgraduate teaching programme at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute in October 2006 with the main role to support the existing didactic teaching. The aim of this study was to establish the programme co-ordinator, lecturer and postgraduate perspective on the introduction of the VLE as an adjunct to other teaching methods. All participants were interviewed utilising open-ended questions to ascertain their response. The interviews were semi-structured and were continued until no new information was elicited. The interviews suggested that the programme co-ordinator, lecturers and the majority of the postgraduates were confident that the VLE could produce a better learning experience. The VLE has a number of advantages and disadvantages, however, there is great potential for the VLE to encourage a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Moves have been made to align aspects, such as assessment, with the VLE and the rest of the curriculum.