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Title: When e-Learning takes centre stage amid COVID-19: Dental educators' perspectives and their future impacts.
Authors: Goh, Charlene Enhui 
Lim, Li Zhen 
Müller, Andre Matthias 
Wong, Mun Loke 
Gao, Xiaoli 
Keywords: COVID-19
Dental education
blended learning
online learning
qualitative study
technology-enhanced learning
Issue Date: 23-Nov-2021
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Goh, Charlene Enhui, Lim, Li Zhen, Müller, Andre Matthias, Wong, Mun Loke, Gao, Xiaoli (2021-11-23). When e-Learning takes centre stage amid COVID-19: Dental educators' perspectives and their future impacts.. Eur J Dent Educ. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an unprecedented shift from face-to-face teaching to e-learning. Previous surveys revealed the negative impact of COVID-19 on dental education and the physical and psychological well-being of dental students. This qualitative study aimed to investigate the perspectives of dental educators towards e-learning during the pandemic, and the impact of this experience on their future adoption of e-learning. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with dental educators from the National University of Singapore were conducted over Zoom. Audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis. Data saturation was reached. Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) was followed. RESULTS: 15 out of 22 (68%) eligible dental educators were interviewed. Educators had minimal prior e-learning experience. They encountered difficulties in engaging students, assessing students' understanding and adapting their teaching. A practical challenge was to ensure the well-rounded training of competent dentists with adequate patient-interaction skills through e-learning. Self-motivation of the audience, class size, type of teaching and complexity of the material were perceived as factors influencing the suitability of the e-learning format. Educators reported an increased confidence after this emergency e-learning experience. Some considered sustaining or expanding e-learning in their future teaching practice and highlighted the need for continued investment and institutional support, training on the pedagogy of e-learning modalities, and curriculum redesign to accommodate blended learning approaches. CONCLUSIONS: Although the shift to e-learning during COVID-19 pandemic presented a myriad of challenges, dental educators gained experience and confidence which may accelerate the pace of future e-learning adoption and innovation.
Source Title: Eur J Dent Educ
ISSN: 13965883
DOI: 10.1111/eje.12727
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