Teaching with technology: learning outcomes for a combined dental and dental hygiene online hybrid oral histology course.J Dent Educ. 2013 Jun; 77(6):732-43.JD
Among the challenges leaders in dental and allied dental education have faced in recent years is a shortage of well-qualified faculty members, especially in some specialty areas of dentistry. One proposed solution has been the use of technology. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, the departure of a faculty member who taught the highly specialized content in oral histology and embryology provided the opportunity to implement distance delivery of that course. The course is taught once a year to a combined group of dental and dental hygiene students. Previous to spring semester of 2009, the course was taught using traditional face-to-face, in-class lectures and multiple-choice examinations. During the spring semesters of 2009, 2010, and 2011, the course was taught using synchronous and asynchronous distance delivery technology. Outcomes for these courses (including course grades and performance on the National Board Dental Examination Part I) were compared to those from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 courses. Students participating in the online hybrid course were also given an author-designed survey, and the perceptions of the faculty member who made the transition from teaching the course in a traditional face-to-face format to teaching in an online hybrid format were solicited. Overall, student and faculty perceptions and student outcomes and course reviews have been positive. The results of this study can provide guidance to those seeking to use technology as one method of curricular delivery.