DENTAL STUDENTS’ VIEWS OF COMPUTER-ASSISTED LEARNING AS A SUPPORT FOR PERIODONTAL SKILLS TRAINING

S. Curtin, A. Trace

University College Cork (IRELAND)
The aim of this exploratory study is to understand undergraduate dental students’ perception of introducing computer-assisted learning (CAL) videos to support the teaching of psychomotor skills in Periodontology.

Method: The participants (n=43) were second-year undergraduate dental students from University College Cork, Ireland. Participants completed a survey, part of which consisted of open-ended questions, to ascertain the perceived benefits in terms of usability of CAL in the development of periodontal skills.

Results: A qualitative content analysis revealed three broad categories: enhancing self–directed learning, bridging the gap to learning, and a need for synchronisation.

Conclusion: Students found the CAL videos to be valuable, self-directed learning tools. The introduction of CAL enhanced the students’ learning by providing an added resource to the live clinical demonstration provided by clinical tutors, and could be viewed and paused repeatedly to gain knowledge and understanding of the skill required. This visual self-directed learning tool has many applications for the development of psychomotor skills in dentistry in areas such as orthodontic and oral surgery, as the teaching modality is predominately visual.