Factors Influencing the Uptake and Integration of Computer Simulations in Dental Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Aims: To Determine the factors which influence the present and future uptake of computer simulations in dental education.
Materials and Methods: A 15 item questionnaire was developed to elicit the present and future factors which are perceived to influence the uptake and integration of computer simulations in dental education. The opportunity for free text replies was also included. The online questionnaire was sent January-March 2014 to 50 individuals who are staff in Dental Schools in four continents. The subjects were chosen for their specific responsibilities involving preclinical education and/or policy decisions. This survey is part of the hapTELG/Gravity project funded by the Technology and Strategy Board of the UK government.(ref:131258)
Results: 36 responses were received to date from 12 countries across three continents. 38% were involved with undergraduate and 28% with postgraduate education, the remainder were involved with dental care professional and distance learning programmes. 57% were directly involved with preclinical skills courses. Currently only 28% of respondents were using some form of computer simulation but 81% expected computer simulations would be an important component of teaching clinical skills in the next 5 years. Factors significantly influencing the use of computer simulation included effectiveness, range of features, availability of suitable products, published articles validating the system(s) and personal recommendation. Only 22% considered unsupervised/self-directed learning to be an important potential advantage with computer simulation.
Conclusions: Though educational effectiveness was a significant influencing factor many respondents considered that there was as yet insufficient published evidence for the benefits of computer simulations. Surprisingly, the cost of computer simulations was not raised as a major issue by many nor the training required for the teachers. Similarly the potential for objective feedback to the student was not a high priority. This may however be a reflection of the lack of experience in using such systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication40th Annual Meeting Association of Dental Education of Europe
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging New Approaches to Dental Education, At Riga, Latvia
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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