Theses Doctoral

Students’ Perceptions of Blended Learning and its Effectiveness As a Part of Second Year Dental Curriculum

Varthis, Spyridon

The field of dental medical education is one of the most rapidly evolving fields in education. Newer teaching methods are being evaluated and incorporated in dental institutions. One of the promising new methods is the blended learning approach that may involve a “flipped” instructional sequencing, where online instruction precedes the group meeting, allowing for more sophisticated learning through discussion and critical thinking. The author conducted a mixed method, experimental study that focused on second year dental students’ perceptions of blended learning and its effectiveness.
A sample size of 40 dental students in their second year from a Northeastern Regional Dental School were invited to participate in this study to evaluate a blended learning approach in comparison to a more traditional lecture format. Students who participated in the study, participated in group problem-solving, responded to Likert-type surveys, completed content exams, and were interviewed individually. Based on Likert survey data and interview responses, the participants in the blended learning treatment reported very positive opinions including positive perceptions of the organization, support of meaningful learning and potential merits for use in dental education. There also was evidence that the blended learning group achieved at least as well as the traditional lecture group, and excelled on certain content test items. The results of this study support the conclusion that blended instruction promotes active, in-depth and self-regulated learning. During blended learning, students set standards or goals regarding their learning, evaluate their progress toward these goals, and then adapt and regulate their cognition, motivation, and behavior in order to accomplish their goals. Overall, the results of this research on blended learning, including the use of problem-based learning in group discussions, supports the merits of incorporating blended earning in dental education curricula.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Anderson, O. Roger
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 19, 2016