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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89

Opportunities and threats of e-learning in dental education in viewpoints of faculty members: A Mixed method study


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, School of Dentistry, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
2 Department of Medical Education, Educational Development Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences; Department of Medical Education, Education Development Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fatemeh Keshmiri
Department of Medical Education, Education Development Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.359326

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Background: The aim of the study was to assess the opportunities and threats of e-learning in dental schools and explore the experiences of dental faculty members in the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) epidemic conditions. Materials and Methods: The present study was a sequential exploratory mixed method study (quantitative-qualitative). In the quantitative phase, a survey study was conducted to investigate the perspectives of faculty members regarding the opportunities and threats of e-learning during the COVID-19 epidemic. The data were analyzed by descriptive indicators (frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation) and analytical tests (t-test and analysis of variance). In the qualitative phase, data were collected through semi-structured interviews. In the qualitative phase, the inductive content analysis approach of Graneheim and Lundman was used to analyze the interviews. Results: In this study, 213 faculty members of dental schools of Iran participated; among whom 100 were men (46.9%) and 133 were women (53.1%). The results indicated the mean scores of the perspectives of faculty members regarding the opportunities and threats of e-learning in dentistry (4.05 ± 0.49 out of 5). Experiences of the participants in the qualitative phase were explored in the theme of “ups and downs of e-learning in dentistry” with three categories “unaccountability of e-learning in dental education,” “challenges of human resource empowerment in the e-learning process,” and “planned education.” Conclusion: The majority of the faculty members agreed with the use of e-learning in dental education and considered it as an opportunity. However, educational design for blended learning, creation of appropriate infrastructures, and empowerment of human resources as e-teacher and e-student were emphasized as key requirements for e-learning development in dental schools.


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