Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 4, No 2 (2012)

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Blended learning in dentistry: 3-D resources for inquiry-based learning

Yanqi Yang, Linkun Zhang, Susan Bridges

Abstract


Motivation is an important factor for inquiry-based learning, so creative design of learning resources and materials is critical to enhance students’ motivation and hence their cognition. Modern dentistry is moving towards “electronic patient records” for both clinical treatment and teaching. Study models have long been an essential part of dental records. Traditional plaster casts are, however, among the last type of clinical record in the dental field to be converted into digital media as virtual models. Advantages of virtual models include: simpler storage; reduced risk of damage, disappearance, or misplacement; simpler and effective measuring; and easy transferal to colleagues. In order to support student engagement with the rapidly changing world of digital dentistry, and in order to stimulate the students’ motivation and depth of inquiry, this project aims to introduce virtual models into a Bachelor and Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum. Under a “blended” e-learning philosophy, students are first introduced to the new software then 3-D models are incorporated into inquiry-based problems as stimulus materials. Face-to-face tutorials blend virtual model access via interactive whiteboards (IWBs). Students’ perceptions of virtual models including motivation and cognition as well as the virtual models’ functionality were rated after a workshop introducing virtual models and plaster models in parallel. Initial student feedback indicates that the 3-D models have been generally well accepted, which confirmed the functionality of the programme and the positive perception of virtual models for enhancing students’ learning motivation. Further investigation will be carried out to assess the impact of virtual models on students’ learning outcomes.

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Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL)
ISSN 2073-7904

 

Maintained and Developed by:

Laboratory for Knowledge Management & E-Learning

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong