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Use of information and communication technology (ICT) among dental students at the University of Jordan. Rajab LD, Baqain ZH Presented by: Zaid H Baqain School of Dentistry - University of Jordan. Introduction.

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Use of information and communication technology (ICT) among dental students at the University of Jordan

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Use of information and communication technology (ICT) among dental students at the University of Jordan

Rajab LD, Baqain ZH

Presented by: Zaid H Baqain

School of Dentistry - University of Jordan

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Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL) in dental education first emerged in 1971 with its introduction at the University of Kentucky.

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Rapid development in computer technology, communication and the wide availability of personal computers have changed both the study and the practice environments in dentistry.

(Grigg PA Stephens CD 1999, Greenwood SR 1997, Nattestad A 2004)

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Advantage of ICT

  • Allow students to work at their own time and pace

  • Allows the use of sound, videos and animation to communicate information

  • Education for both the patient and the dentist

  • Electronic records and data bases

  • Digital imaging

  • Communication between practitioners and colleagues

  • Exposure to new products and developments, marketing dental practices

  • ‘Teledentistry‘

    (Gupta B et 2004, Odell EW et al 2001)

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The lack of communication with peers and instructors, absence of evaluation, as well as the fact that courses appeared to be outdated were the most negative aspects encountered in web-based learning.

(H Spallek et al 2002, S Beck 2004)

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Few years ago,,,

  • The use of ICT as a tool to support dental teaching and learning was introduced without a well-defined strategy

  • One reason may be the great diversity of ICT skills among both teachers and students

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Aim of the study

  • Investigate the knowledge, skills, and opinions of undergraduate dental students at the University of Jordan, with respect to ICT

  • No studies on ICT in education involving dental schools in the Middle East

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Subjects and methods

The sample in this study consisted of students from the second to fifth year enrolled at the school of dentistry at the University of Jordan.

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The items in the questionnaire concerned:

  • Computer access

  • Computer skills and training

  • Computer activities

  • Internet access

  • Activities involving the Internet and dentistry

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  • The data were processed and analyzed by means of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS PC Version 10.0)

  • The level of statistical significance for all tests was set at p< 0.05

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Computer access

  • Almost 74% of students had access to computers at home

  • The majority were satisfied when asked about the access and availability of the computers

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Computer skills and training

  • More than two thirds of the students reported competence in basic IT skills

  • Male students were more regular and longer users of the computers (p<0.001)

  • More males felt competent in computer skills (p<0.01)

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  • 69% gained their IT skills through personal study, 21% through the university courses

  • More clinical year students found training at the university as poor/very poor than preclinical year students (p<0.001)

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Computer activities

  • 81% of the students ‘competent’ in basic word processing skills

  • More clinical students felt competent in most skills than preclinical students (41% versus 28%, p<0.05)

  • More males used word processing, as well as multimedia presentation and data management for their studies than females

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  • 91% used computers for academic activities and 96% used computers for personal activities

  • Males used computers more frequently for academic (p<0.01), and for personal activities (p<0.001)

  • Half of the students had access to printers at home

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Internet access

  • 54% of the students had access to the Internet at home

  • 94% were comfortable with the use of the Internet

  • 89% were satisfied with the speed of the Internet

  • Level of confidence with regard to:

    • Accuracy of information on the Internet, 83% were confident

    • Relevance of information, 91% were confident

  • 90% used the e-mail

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Activities involving the Internet and dentistry

  • 83% were in favor of placing lectures on the school website

  • 61.2% did not expect that this would influence attendance at lectures

  • 95% would like materials related directly to undergraduate dental curriculum to be available on the Internet

  • More clinical students used the Internet more frequently for dentistry than preclinical students (p<0.001)

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  • More males used Internet for dentistry (p<0.01) as well as for pleasure (p<0.01) than females

  • Perceived barriers to use of the Internet were time and availability of computers

  • The Internet was used by 35% of the students for entertainment (music news, fashion, religion, and culture, etc.)

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The most visited non-dental and dental sites for students

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  • Access to computers at home is similar to that found in European dental schools

  • Nearly all students (91%) at the UJ were using computers for academic activities, this is similar to the outcome of a survey conducted in 16 European dental schools

  • Dental students at the UJ have comparable computer literacy skills and similar availability of computers and Internet of that of dental students in other countries

    (AJ Plasschaert et al 1995, WP Lang 1995, N Mattheos et al 2002, AD Walmsley et al 2003)

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  • Male students were more likely to use computers than females, similar to previous studies

  • Male students are more eager to search for computer courses using their own initiative, favoring the freedom of time and space offered by electronic learning

    (N Mattheos et al 2002, J Dorup 2004)

  • Dental students now enter the university with basic computer knowledge that includes introduction to computers, Windows, Microsoft Office and Internet

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  • Courses in computer skills offered by the UJ as part of their first year curriculum do not meet the needs to achieve the required work during the clinical years. It is possible that students felt their demands were not being met by the courses offered

  • More emphasis should be laid on the management of more advanced operating systems in the dental undergraduate curriculum

    (JI Virtanen and P Nieminen 2002)

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  • The majority of the students reported that the information on the Internet was relevant to dentistry and accurate. This reflects an ongoing improvement in the quality of websites providing dental informatics

  • Improved Internet availability and connection speed and the mandatory undergraduate teaching of computer skills and dental informatics will increase the students abilities to retrieve relevant and accurate information on the Internet

    (AD Walmsley et al 2003)

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What has changed in the past few years

  • At UJ there are now over 2000 PC, the objective is to reach (1:5) PC-student ratio

  • Students now register for their courses online and obtain their exam results either online or on their mobile handsets

  • Wireless internet connection is present throughout the JU

  • Electronic library accessible to students and staff inside and outside campus, it has an expanding number of electronic journals and CD books allowing access to full text articles and books by many publishers

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  • The curriculum has been improved to include an advanced course on the use of computers in the second semester of the first year

  • Students now utilize web-based resources, as a result students are guided on how to locate articles and information of sufficient validity and quality

  • All lectures are now presented as Power Point; many of the faculty publish their lectures and additional teaching material online allowing free unlimited access to students anytime, anywhere

  • Most of the objective practical and theoretical tests are computer aided, this has reduced time required to develop and analyze tests also the opportunities to create test item bank and to obtain results immediately

  • The processing of grades by faculty is now ‘paperless’, this is done through a special secure software making this a speedy and accurate process

    (M Karl et al 2007)

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  • The detailed curriculum is now available online, and the computerization of all patients records and administration including the main store of the school is underway

  • Multimedia materials and learning software are currently being used by some faculty members in labs and seminars

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Why not to embrace ICT?

Computer technology is still lacking in our dental school and this is not uncommon even in the developed world.

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  • The production of good computer assisted teaching materials is time and cost-consuming and requires cooperation amongst clinicians, software developers, and educational technologists

  • A new kind of professional development and change in both the curriculum and instructional goals are required

    (A Welk et al 2005)

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In conclusion

  • The school of dentistry at UJ has not fully adopted CAL in dental education but it is not sparing any effort in using this technology as an important adjunct to traditional teaching

  • More steps to encourage faculty to develop computer–assisted instruction and curricula, offering academic credits necessary for promotion maybe essential

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Thank you

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