Objective: The traditional face-to-face or on-site lecturing methods are still among the most common forms of delivering knowledge to students in dental education. However, other innovative learning methodologies have the potential to complement, or even improve, the effectiveness and quality of teaching. The aim of this online survey was to analyze the receptivity of endodontics practitioners to a specific online teaching format of a multi-day congress, mimicking an on-site conference, and perceive whether the participants regarded it as an effective way of acquiring knowledge with application in their clinical practice activity.
Methods: An online questionnaire, composed of 17 items, was sent during the last day of a multi-day online congress. Four strands of information were taken into account: demographics; previous online formation experience; personal involvement in the underway online congress; and overview of the online congress concept. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. Total counts, frequencies and descriptive statistics were generated by using SurveyMonkey software.
Results: A total of 1.827 answers were delivered, which represented a return rate of 15.8%. The results indicated that most of the participants agree that online learning could be a good alternative to the traditional on-site learning methodology in improving their practical abilities. In addition, the present survey found that the majority of the attendees support the use of computers as an assisting tool and only 18.0% reported difficulties when using technologies. A high number of practitioners recognized a favourable cost-benefit ratio of using online lessons and stated they would recommend others to participate in online meetings as well.
Conclusion: Overall, the present results suggest that online learning may be used successfully to improve students knowledge and enhance their abilities to apply acquired content in clinical situations. Moreover, the participants felt online learning to be effective, engaging and with a favourable cost-benefit ratio. (EEJ-2019-10-108)