e-learning tools can enhance dental radiology education

Online learning dramatically improved dental students' radiology exam scores, according to a study in the Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery (January 2011, Vol. 39:1, pp. 40-48).

Because traditional dental radiology courses can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, online tools -- including an interactive learning module -- were implemented to support the lectures by researchers at Hannover Medical School in Germany. They then evaluated the perceptions of students who worked with the Web-based courseware and the effect the tools had on their results in final examinations.

Users (n = 138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n =71, n = 67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n = 42, n = 48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. The students were also asked to fill out a survey about their experience with the e-course.

Most of the survey respondents reported a positive attitude toward e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction, the researchers reported. Two years after initiating the e-course, the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%.

"The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid," the researchers concluded. "Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone."

Copyright © 2011 DrBicuspid.com

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