Mobile learning in dentistry: challenges and opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Introduction: The impact of mobile phones technology is changing the approach to learning and teaching in clinical dental education. The aim of this study was to understand the challenges, opportunities and attitudes that both dental undergraduate students in an English dental school and tutors experience when using electronic/mobile learning.

Materials and Methods: Six faculty members and 20 students agreed to take part in semi- structured interviews at the School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham. Topic question guides for the student interviews focussed on searching for information and how they used mobile learning. Questions also asked about the barriers encountered when accessing information on the
internet, their own perspective on the term 'Evidence based' information and their use of mobile apps. The question topic guide for faculty was similar with greater emphasis on their attitudes to the introduction of such technology in clinical dental education.

Results: Students and tutors reported active use of mobile learning tools in dental education. However, students are in need of training and further guidance when searching for, evaluating and synthesising evidence based information on the internet Likewise, tutors need to learn the skills and knowledge of using mobile learning tools so that may provide effective to support students in their learning via accessing material through mobile technology.

Conclusion: The results from the study show that the participants need training workshops to ensure that students are not only accessing evidence based information on their mobile technology, but can differentiate between evidence based and non-evidence based information apps. The tutors in this study also require information on how to provide their students with advice on using mobile technology. Institutions involved with clinical dentistry should acknowledge such challenges.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298–304
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume227
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2019