ENHANCING LEARNING WITH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
Teaching in health sciences should be combine scientific evidence with accumulated clinical experience. Currently, this teaching is supplemented with a student-centered learning, in which the student becomes responsible for their own learning, and where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) represents a learning aid in order to present, process and integrate information.
To examine if the use of ICT helps students in improving their basic skills in training in Dentistry, specifically in periodontal diagnosis.
To compare a test (supported by an ICT tool) and a control groups, in terms of the performance in periodontal diagnosis.
Firstly, diagnostic virtual guides were constructed using the material resulting from the application of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in the subject of Periodontology. Subsequently, an experimental study was designed with students of the subject of Periodontology (2nd year course), who were randomized into a test (n=25) and a control group (n=36). The test group received reinforcement in their learning by accessing these virtual guides. Both groups were examined at the beginning and at the end of the course. T test was used to compare marks between the test and control groups.
The marks of the students of the test group improved significantly their performance in diagnosis (initial marks 5.64 ± 2.36 vs final marks 7.42 ± 1.67), when compared to the changes the control group (initial marks 5.83 ± 2.23 vs final marks 5.69 ± 2.21) (p= 0.0003). The number of students, who obtained the minimum mark to pass the exam, was significantly higher (81.8%), when compared to those of the control group (37.9%) (p= 0.003).
The use of virtual guides improves the performance of students in periodontology diagnosis, in the teaching of Periodontology.