[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
This descriptive paper aims to demonstrate how experiences of e-learning through four different e-learning projects undertaken at King’s College London Dental Institute (KCLDI) are validating the cultural change towards the use of e-learning in dental education. Definitions of e-learning, flexible learning and distance learning are stated as currently used in higher education in UK. Four investigations undertaken at KCLDI were chosen to represent four different uses of technology, namely CDROM for gaming, PDA for use in clinics, webcasting for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and blended online learning for CPD. The first two studies involved undergraduate students and the latter two, postgraduate students. Results of the four investigations are presented which demonstrate the increasing value of e-learning in dental education. The needs of the undergraduate are changing in a modern technological and digital world, whilst the postgraduate convenience and efficiency of access to courses, delivered in a blended approach - online coupled with practical tuition - is most highly prized. As the largest dental and medical school in UK, with the highest accolades in teaching quality and research, e-learning has become embedded within the delivery of the curriculum for both undergraduates, postgraduates and in CPD. The advent of an IVIDENT approach (International Virtual Dental School) is advocated to help converge standards and support the Bologna Declaration. e-Learning in dental education is considered ‘inevitable’.