Dentistry students after the COVID-19 outbreak—have views on distance education changed?
Keywords:COVID-19, distance education, dental student, online education, survey
Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate dentistry students for changes in anxiety levels between the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the point where COVID restrictions were reduced to a minimum and to compare their perspectives on distance education at both points in time.
Methodology: The participants in this study were undergraduate students (n = 297) from the Faculty of Dentistry who volunteered to answer a questionnaire that asked them to detail the anxiety levels that they experienced during the COVID-19 period and during the months after COVID-related restrictions were lifted. The students were also asked for their opinions about the theoretical dentistry lessons delivered by distance education. The measurement values obtained were subjected to the independent sample t-test for comparisons between groups and to the one-way analysis of variance for comparisons of more than two groups. The Pearson correlation analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between anxiety levels. A value of p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: When asked whether technology-based education was beneficial, and whether theoretical education should be realized through distance education, men answered yes at a higher rate than women. (p < 0.05). It was also observed that, compared to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the anxiety scores of the participants were lower in the months after pandemic restrictions were reduced.
Conclusion: According to the findings, it was observed that male students were more inclined to use the internet, to believe that technology-based education was beneficial, to prefer distance education over face-to-face education, and to be more motivated in distance education than face-to-face education. COVID-19 has impacted face-to-face education with a sudden transition to distance education, and these results support the importance of identifying the deficiencies in this education method and developing this system.
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