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 RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 25-28

Blended learning for reinforcing dental pharmacology in the clinical years: A qualitative analysis


1 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
K N Sumanth
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193315

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Objectives: Blended learning has become the method of choice in educational institutions because of its systematic integration of traditional classroom teaching and online components. This study aims to analyze student’s reflection regarding blended learning in dental pharmacology. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka-Manipal Medical College among 3rd and 4th year BDS students. A total of 145 dental students, who consented, participate in the study. Students were divided into 14 groups. Nine online sessions followed by nine face-to-face discussions were held. Each session addressed topics related to oral lesions and orofacial pain with pharmacological applications. After each week, students were asked to reflect on blended learning. On completion of 9 weeks, reflections were collected and analyzed. Statistical Analysis: Qualitative analysis was done using thematic analysis model suggested by Braun and Clarke. Results: The four main themes were identified, namely, merits of blended learning, skill in writing prescription for oral diseases, dosages of drugs, and identification of strengths and weakness. In general, the participants had a positive feedback regarding blended learning. Students felt more confident in drug selection and prescription writing. They could recollect the doses better after the online and face-to-face sessions. Most interestingly, the students reflected that they are able to identify their strength and weakness after the blended learning sessions. Conclusions: Blended learning module was successfully implemented for reinforcing dental pharmacology. The results obtained in this study enable us to plan future comparative studies to know the effectiveness of blended learning in dental pharmacology. Key message: Blended learning can be successfully integrated into undergraduate pharmacology education in dentistry. This could provide a favorable transition from the pre-clinical to clinical years with enhanced flexibility, location convenience and time efficiency. The next generation of blended learning courses should enhance the function of the internet as an absolute repository for all teaching and learning activities and minimize or even replace the number of classroom settings with online video-based features.






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