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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-72

Dental students' Perception on the impact of E-learning in continuing dental education during the current pandemic scenario

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Luxmi Bai Institute of Research and Dental Sciences, Patiala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Periodontics, Luxmi Bai Institute of Research and Dental Sciences, Patiala, Punjab, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, Himachal Dental College, Sunder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Department of Periodontics, Himachal Dental College, Sunder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Rupandeep Kaur Samra
Doctor's Colony, Bhadson Road
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijds.ijds_14_21

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Background: On account of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), education in higher institutes was strongly affected and they were shut down. The education shifted from “face-to-face” learning to online learning in the dental universities. The aim of this study was to assess the students' perspective on the implementation of online learning due to COVID-19, using a questionnaire-based survey in India. Materials and Methods: The authors sent out an electronic survey to the undergraduate dental students from October 17, 2020 to October 25, 2020. The online questionnaire had a combination of multiple-choice, Likert scale, and open-ended questions which gave insight into the demographics, access to technological sources, didactic benefit, study habits, perceived issues with e-learning, conduction of examinations during the pandemic period, and their mental health. Students were also asked for their views on the inclusion of online learning in the future curriculum. Qualitative data was expressed as number and percentage. A comparison was performed using Chi-square test. Kruskal-Wallis test was done for Likert scale questions and Bonferroni test was used for post hoc comparisons. Results: Among 2319 dental students, 63.9% exclusively used smartphones and 8.5% used laptops for classes. The rest of the students used both devices. To access online resources, about 2262 (97.5%) had Internet connection. Only 943 students (40.7%) did not encounter any difficulty while engaging in online learning. About 1466 students (63.2%) appeared for examinations. About 1261 students appeared offline for both theory and practical examinations. Fifty-five percent of the participants felt offline examinations to be a better alternative. About 69.6% of students preferred “face-to-face” learning instead of solely online learning. Nearly 19.4% of students wanted online education to be continued, while 28.5% wanted to keep both offline and online courses in the future curriculum. Most frequently encountered problems were difficulty in adjusting to new learning styles, having to perform responsibilities at home, and poor communication between educators and learners. Conclusion: Students showed a little reticent attitude towards on the implementation of online learning and were hopeful of engaging in online learning after improvisation in the future curriculum.

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