Introduction of e-learning in dental radiology reveals significantly improved results in final examination

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2011 Jan;39(1):40-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 May 7.


Purpose: Because a traditionally instructed dental radiology lecture course is very time-consuming and labour-intensive, online courseware, including an interactive-learning module, was implemented to support the lectures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students who have worked with web-based courseware as well as the effect on their results in final examinations.

Materials and methods: Users (n(3+4)=138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n(3)=71, n(4)=67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n(1)=42, n(2)=48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. In addition a survey of the students was statistically evaluated.

Results: Most of the respondents reported a positive attitude towards e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction. Two years after initiating the e-course the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%.

Conclusions: The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid. Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone. To what extent staff savings are possible is part of a further study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Education, Dental*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Health Physics / education
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Learning
  • Mandibular Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Multimedia
  • Online Systems
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Radiation Protection
  • Radiography, Dental
  • Radiology / education*
  • Students, Dental / psychology
  • Teaching / methods
  • Tooth Fractures / diagnostic imaging