Efficacy of E-Learning via the Website of Tehran University of Medical Sciences for Diagnosing Tooth Discolorations and Treatment Planning by Senior Dental Students
The efficacy of methods like e-learning as a supplement to traditional face-to-face instruction needs to be evaluated in dental courses. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of posting case presentations on one of the educational websites of the virtual school of Tehran University of Medical Sciences called “SARMAD” to enhance the ability of senior dental students to diagnose tooth discolorations and offer treatment plans. This experimental study had a pre-test/post-test control group design and was conducted on 63 senior dental students. After filling out the primary questionnaire and obtaining a written informed consent, students participated in a pre-test and were then randomly divided into two groups of intervention and control. Fifteen case presentations were posted on the university website (SARMAD) during 6 weeks and discussed. Then, students participated in a post-test. Students’ perspectives and their satisfaction with the website were assessed by a questionnaire. For ethical purposes, the same program was also offered to the controls. The post-test score was significantly higher than the pre-test score in the intervention group (P<0.001); but in the control group, the post-test score was only slightly higher than the pre-test score (P=0.128). In the intervention group, 70% stated that they would suggest this method as an efficient educational modality; 93.3% stated that this method would be beneficial as a supplement to conventional education; 16.7% ranked the SARMAD website excellent, 30% ranked it good, 33.3% acceptable, 16.7% moderate and 3.3 poor. It appears that this instructional modality may be efficiently used as a supplement to traditional instruction in undergraduate dental curricula.
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