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Title: Evaluating the development of online learning for different groups of learners in a dental school
Author: Pahinis, Kimon T.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3463 9361
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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The purpose of the study was to evaluate the transition from traditional didactic classroom-based teaching to blended and online learning environments and present their differences which will help to shift the paradigm from technology driven to pedagogy driven development of e-education. The first objective of this research was to investigate the pedagogy by evaluating practice to formulating recommendations on the development of an online supported course taught to different groups of learners in a Dental School for three action research cycles. The second was to investigate the state of readiness of the learners for online learning in the Dental School. Finally, the third objective was to investigate online discussion group participation in relation to learners' motivations. The results of this study indicated that delivery based on the direct instruction approach and the traditional didactic based behaviourist model can only be used on certain blended-learning methods when the balance is towards traditional didactic class-room based learning. The Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) used were accepted as positive but their usefulness varied. It was also found that online collaboration was not affected by the change of the delivery environment as the rt1ajority of the students did not use the online discussion boards to collaborate. Finally, differences between different groups of learners were recorded but no significant differences between males and females were found. From the state of readiness it was found that important qualitative differences exist within the European Union that may prove a barrier for successful implementation of the new delivery methods. There was a significant improvement in the computer literacy of the average dental student in both European regions however several important skills were still not sufficiently developed Finally, a relation between students' motivations and discussion board participation was identified. The type of student motivation was identified as a possible barrier for online discussion board collaboration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available