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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 160-163

Digital learning: WhatsApp as a teaching aid in oral pathology for undergraduates

1 Department of Oral Pathology, Govt Dental College Kottayam, Kottayam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Regional Dental College, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr M Indu
Department of Oral Pathology, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJDS.IJDS_48_18

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Background: Influence of social media such as WhatsApp is tremendously increased among students. The query aroused was whether such a familiar platform could be used as a learning tool. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to assess the effectiveness of WhatsApp as an educational tool in a complex subject such as oral pathology among undergraduate students. Methods: Third-year students of Government Dental College, Alappuzha, were selected as the study population and were divided into Group A and Group B by a simple random sampling. Histopathology slides were discussed conventionally with both Group A and Group B. Furthermore, labeled histopathological images were discussed only for Group A students, in a WhatsApp group named “GDC ALLEPPEY OPATH.” To assess the effectiveness of a new method, a questionnaire was given to both groups and the results were statistically analyzed using Mann–Whitney U-test. An additional opinion poll was carried out with Group A to identify students' perspective toward the novel learning tool. Results: Pair-wise comparison of the mean scores of Group A and Group B showed a statistically significant higher mean score for Group A (P = 0.005). There was a significant improvement in the mean score of Group A in their ability to comprehend individual histopathologic features compared to that of Group B (P = 0.008). Conclusion: WhatsApp can prove to be highly advantageous and enhance learning in undergraduate students when used in supplementation to the conventional learning methods.

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