DENTAL STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION AND EFFECTIVENESS OF ONLINE LEARNING DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A DESCRIPTIVE CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY IN BULGARIA
Purpose. As dental education was significantly influenced by the novel coronavirus pandemic, this study aims to investigate pre-clinical dental students’ perspectives on the implementation of remote education and school closure due to COVID-19 pandemic, self-reported effectiveness of on-line learning as well as their educational and personal experiences. Method. A self-administered questionnaire was posted online to a total of 258 out of 516 second and third-year preclinical dental students in Dec 2020/Jan 2021 at Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University-Sofia, Bulgaria. Survey items focused on 3 general domains: student attitude, assessment, and concerns regarding online learning; student current knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19 pandemic and student opinion of pandemic psychological impact on public health, personal experiences and intention for vaccination. Findings. One-hundred and sixty-nine students responded to the survey (response rate 65.5%). Most of them (70.4%) approved suspension of face-to-face classes due to the COVID-19 crisis. Eighty percent expressed dissatisfaction toward online teaching sessions and agreed that this will have negative effects on their education. Fifty-eight percent did not find remote education more stressful than in-person training. More concerns were expressed about financial issues than mental health problems. Intention for getting vaccinated was expressed by 53.3% and 40.8% thought that the vaccine would cause many side health effects. Implications for research and practice. Within the limitations of the study, identified gaps in online education could help increase effectiveness of learning environment and create opportunity to enhance education for the future. Dental student thoughts about COVID-19 vaccinations provide valuable information to administrators, public health professionals and policy makers to improve efforts towards preserving, protecting, and promoting public health.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Nadya Avramova, Ivanka Mihaylova , Krassimira Yaneva-Ribagina, Boyko Bonev , Stanislav Nenov
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