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PERCEPTION OF A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT BY STUDENTS OF DENTISTRY

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in higher education allows for the use of new didactic methods, promoting autonomous work by the student, as well as self-learning. It also provides a different learning environment, which may be more interesting and engaging and therefore it use is increasing in higher education.

Objective:
To analyze the possible benefits and difficulties of the use of a virtual learning environment in the subject of Periodontology.

Method:
Diagnostic virtual guides, developed by the research group, were used by 26 students in the subject of Periodontology, in the degree of Dentistry. These students received reinforcement in their normal learning by accessing the virtual guides. At the end of course a survey was conducted to evaluate the opinion of the students and their professors.

Result:
Students perceived this virtual learning environment as a good methodology for checking their knowledge (58.32%), as an easy tool to use (79.16%), easy to look for the information (70.83%) and with the contents clearly exposed (83.32%). 91.66% of the students pointed out that it would be useful to have a similar virtual learning environment in other subjects. Professors indicated that these guides had not relevant disadvantages, and they can represent a important reinforcement for the student.