Evaluation of computer-assisted learning courseware to reinforce the teaching of removable partial denture design theory

Robert McKerlie, Donald A Cameron, Robert G S Matthew


This two-year study investigated the efficacy of a computer-assisted learning (CAL) programme at reinforcing the learning of removable partial denture (RPD) design. Thirty-nine dental students (year one of study) and thirty-five dental students (year two of study), at the commencement of their fourth year completed an RPD knowledge assessment, in the form of a 31 question online quiz (year one) or a 51 question paper-based assessment (year two) prior to the first CAL session and again after the last CAL session. The students were split into groups of nine or ten (year one) and eight or nine (year two) and allocated fortnightly timetabled 1.5 hours (year one) and weekly timetabled 2 hours (year two) access to a CAL programme, four (year one) or six (year two) sessions in total. After the conclusion of the CAL intervention the students were asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire. The RPD knowledge assessment showed a highly significant improvement in scores after the CAL intervention (P-Value < 0.001). The students found the CAL programme to be both informative (year one n=35; year two n=32) and useful (year one n=33; year two n=24) with the majority finding the programme easy to use. A computer-assisted learning programme can be effective at reinforcing the learning of removable partial denture design.

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