Publication: Perceptions of dental students towards online education during the COVID-19 pandemic
Purpose: This study evaluated the usage habits, attitudes, and perceptions of undergraduate dental students toward distance (online) learning and identified variables related to those attitudes.
Materials and methods: The study included 1,605 undergraduate dental students who participated voluntarily. The data collection tool consisted of a distance learning attitude scale, a questionnaire on personal information, and open-ended questions. The perceptions of dental students to distance education according to the year and type of dental school they attended were evaluated.
Results: Most students expressed that distance learning in dental courses was not as effective as traditional face-to-face education (59.1%, n=949). While students studying at state universities had a more negative view of distance education, the satisfaction scores of the first-year students were found to be significantly lower than the other students (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Dental students were generally unhappy with the interruption of traditional education caused by COVID-19 and having to continue their education online. However, under the circumstances, they saw it as an advantage allowing them to continue their education and avoid a complete suspension.