Revista de Odontologia da UNESP
http://revodontolunesp.com.br/article/doi/10.1590/1807-2577.05118
Revista de Odontologia da UNESP
Original Article

Learning styles preferences and e-learning experience of undergraduate dental students

Preferências nos estilos de aprendizagem e experiência com e-learning de estudantes de graduação em Odontologia

Ana Cláudia DALMOLIN; Giselle Ariana Otto MACKEIVICZ; Márcia Thaís POCHAPSKI; Gibson Luiz PILATTI; Fábio André SANTOS

Abstract

Abstract: Introduction: Education in the health sciences has been undergoing profound changes due to the incorporation of information and communication technologies. Students learn through a variety of approaches, according to their learning styles. Blended learning, which combines technology-aided learning (e-learning) with traditional face-to-face teaching methods, has been found to improve learning outcomes.

Objective: The aims of the present study were to evaluate the learning styles of undergraduate dental students and their experience towards the use of e-learning.

Material and method: Two electronic questionnaires were sent to 174 students. The learning styles were determined by the Felder & Soloman Index (ILS), which evaluates the following four dimensions of learning: processing information (active-reflexive); perceiving information (sensorial-intuitive); receiving information (visual-verbal); and understanding information (sequential-global). To determine the e-learning experience we used four questions (Likert scale – five-point) which addressed the experience and the use of information and communication technologies.

Result: Most students presented a well-balanced style for the active-reflective (60%) and sequential-global (68%) domains. The sensing style (64%) was predominant. A lower percentage presented a global characteristic (9%). We did not find significant differences regarding the age groups (19-21 and 22-33 years) and genders (P>0.05, χ 2). However, in terms of age the difference was significant concerning websites helping in learning (P=0.0363, Mann-Whitney).

Conclusion: We conclude that the students do not have the same learning styles and e-learning experience. Methods such as blended learning could provide advantages when teaching undergraduate dental students.

Keywords

Dental education, dental students, learning, internet, teaching

Resumo

Resumo: Introdução: A educação em ciências da saúde tem passado por profundas mudanças devido à incorporação de tecnologias de informação e comunicação (TICs). Os estudantes aprendem através de diferentes abordagens, de acordo com o seu estilo de aprendizagem. O ensino híbrido, que combina tecnologia (e-learning) com o ensino face-a-face, tem apresentado bons resultados.

Objetivo: Os objetivos deste estudo são avaliar os estilos de aprendizagem de alunos de graduação em Odontologia e a experiência com e-learning.

Material e método: Dois questionários eletrônicos foram enviados a 174 estudantes. Os estilos de aprendizagem foram determinados pelo Índice de Felder & Soloman (ILS), que avalia as quatro dimensões do aprendizado: processamento da informação (ativo-reflexivo); percepção da informação (sensorial-intuitivo); recebimento da informação (visual-verbal); e entendimento da informação (sequencial-global). Para determinar a experiência com e-learning foram usadas quatro perguntas (escala Likert de cinco pontos) sobre o uso das TICs.

Resultado: A maioria dos estudantes apresentou um estilo equilibrado para ativo-reflexivo (60%) e sequencial-global (68%). O estilo sensitivo (64%) foi predominante. Uma porcentagem mais baixa apresentou características globais (9%). Não foram encontradas diferenças quanto aos grupos de idades (19-21 e 22-33 anos) e aos gêneros (P>0,05, χ2). Contudo, houve diferença entre os grupos de idades considerando a ajuda dos websites no aprendizado (P =0,0363, Mann-Whitney).

Conclusão: Os estudantes não têm os mesmos estilos de aprendizado e experiência com e-learning. Métodos alternativos ao ensino convencional, como o ensino híbrido, podem significar vantagens no ensino da graduação em Odontologia.
 

Palavras-chave

Educação em odontologia, estudantes de odontologia, aprendizagem, internet, ensino

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