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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-151

Knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India – A cross-sectional study


Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission06-Jan-2022
Date of Acceptance01-Feb-2022
Date of Web Publication24-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr Shivayogi M Hugar
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, KLE VK Institute of Dental Science, Belagavi, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_68_22

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  Abstract 


AIM: The aim of this study was to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of 200 participants was taken comprising interns, postgraduate, faculty, and private practitioners of dental specialty. A prevalidated 15-item questionnaire incorporating four domains was distributed among the participants. It was followed by statistical analysis of the data.
RESULTS: The results were tabulated using descriptive analysis. Association was determined using the Chi-square test, whereas one-way analysis of variance is used for comparison between the groups. The correlation between knowledge, attitude, and practices among dental professionals was assessed using Karl Pearson's correlation coefficient. The results of the study showed that the attitude and practices among dental professionals were statistically significant (P > 0.05). Moreover, statistically significant results were obtained when correlation was done between knowledge, attitude, and practices (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: The study concludes the need to enhance the level of knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India.

Keywords: COVID-19, dental professionals, online education, perception


How to cite this article:
Saxena N, Hugar SM, Soneta SP, Dialani PK, Kohli N, Patil VH. Knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India – A cross-sectional study. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2022;15:147-51

How to cite this URL:
Saxena N, Hugar SM, Soneta SP, Dialani PK, Kohli N, Patil VH. Knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India – A cross-sectional study. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jun 25];15:147-51. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2022/15/2/147/345837




  Introduction Top


Webinars can be defined as synchronous e-education method which allows people to gather at a specific time to listen to, view, and participate in the presentation of a desired topic. Eric R. Kolb in 1998, proposed the term “Webinar” which is unified by two words “web” and “seminar.” Web-based learning is driven through the potentialities of web technology. It allows for real time and synchronous dialog in between the listener and the speaker, covering widespread distances to facilitate the probable audience, and making worthy to achieve web-driven information.[1]

E-education has certain advantages as it potentiates the problem-based education by incorporating visual and interactive features; pictorial-and video-based practical knowledge accounts to some of them. Furthermore, it implies Green Technology, as it reduces the global environmental brunt and limits traveling, thus aids in reducing on the whole carbon output.[2]

Newton (2003) had put forth that the online learning system constitutes majorly three domains, namely enhancing access to learning and training, improving the worth of teaching and education, and the desire of higher education institutions for maintaining the competitive benefit in dynamically changing perspectives of education for students.[3]

Medical education is persistently budding at a rapid speed and to keep the upcoming doctors and established practitioners in par with the competitive e-learning world. The learning management system thus simplifies the assessment, evaluation, and supervision of the content delivered through e-learning. Introduction of web education into academics had made learning more interactive and faculty as facilitators and mentors.[4]

Moreover, in this COVID-19 pandemic situation, learning is now achievable online and transmission of knowledge can be eased using e-portals and applications. Online learning embarks as the best solution through this crisis. It plays pivotal role in changing our lives to digitalization by providing accessible places, predesignated class hours and quality contents. It provides a path for growth and development of humanity during these times of physical isolation due to pandemic.[5]

After the literature search was carried out, there were not enough studies found regarding knowledge, attitude, and practices about online education during COVID-19 outbreak among dental professionals in India. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess and understand the gap between knowledge, attitude, and practices and application of the knowledge regarding the concept of online education.


  Materials and Methods Top


A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted in the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry. Ethical approval was granted from the Institutional Review Board. Reliability of the questionnaire was assessed by conducting a pilot study through which an Alpha Cronbach's coefficient of 0.82 was obtained. The responses of the questions were calculated using 5-point Likert scale.

The sample size of 194 was calculated in accordance to the standard sample size calculating formula which was rounded to 200. Samples included participation of interns, postgraduate students, faculty members, and private practitioners of dental fraternity. The questionnaires were distributed among the participants through the medium of Google Forms which when reverted were further compiled and evaluated. The collected data were then statistically analyzed.

Ethical clearance

Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research with registration number of KLEVKIDS/2021/1422.


  Results Top


In the present study, no dropouts were found. The study incorporated 24% male and 76% female. Among the participants, 53% had no experience in the field of dentistry, whereas 47% had n experience ranging from 1 to 7 years in the dental profession. The mean age of professionals participated in the survey was 24.40 years [Graph 1]. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS software (version 22.0 Chicago IL, USA) considering P < 0.05 as statistically significant.



Association between the level of knowledge, attitude, and practices for the different dental professionals was determined with Chi-square test and no statistically significant difference was observed in the knowledge and practices among the study groups (P = 0.0910). However, the attitude regarding the concept of online education during COVID-19 pandemic was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.0500). When the association of level of practices was compared, the participants having higher experience in the profession showed higher percentage summing up to (58.54%). This ensured a statistical significant practice being followed owing to the P as (P = 0.0350). Furthermore, when the comparison of age groups, gender, experiences, and qualifications with mean practice scores was done using one-way ANOVA it yielded a highly significant score ([P = 0.0150], [Table 1] and [Graph 2]).
Table 1: Association between age groups, gender, experiences, and qualifications with levels of practice

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The comparison of response among dental professionals with regards to varying experience for each question was determined by Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA. The results showed that, when the respondents were asked about the replacement of traditional classroom learning by online teaching most of them disagreed and results were cordially statistically significant (P = 0.0230). Knowledge and attitude toward the web-based education during COVID-19 pandemic era were found to be statistically insignificant. However, most of the participants agreed that online education has benefited the dental professionals across India en masse. When pondered upon whether web-based education can provide an opportunity for establishment of scientific links with faculty members and experts at home and abroad most of the participants, maximally postgraduates and experienced professionals found it essential aiding in continuing online dental education. The results are in the accordance and are proved highly significant (P = 0.0120).

The correlation among the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding online education was determined using Karl Pearson's correlation coefficient and a highly statistically significant results were obtained ([P = 0.0001], [Table 2] and [Graph 3], [Graph 4], [Graph 5]).
Table 2: Correlations among knowledge, attitude, and practice by Karl Pearson's correlation coefficient

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  Discussion Top


Educational institutions, especially the medical and dental allied sciences in India are currently following the traditional method of classroom teaching and learning. It involves face-to-face interaction with the mentors and also aids in imparting quality practical-based education when comes to the medical sciences. Although the blending of web-based education has initiated but still it has not been widely accepted throughout the nation. In the recent past, the sudden outbreak of the deadly disease COVID-19 has been encountered which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. The World Health Organization had declared it as a pandemic. This situation has imposed a challenge to our education system and lead to the change in mode of education to online teaching and learning overnight. In spite of reluctance of many institutions and organizations, the change has been accepted in terms of imparting web-based education.[6]

In our study, we found higher levels of attitude among dental professionals accounting to 88% regarding the continuation of web-based dental education as a source of teaching and learning during this pandemic. Our study is in accordance with the study carried out by Hung et al. who have reported higher acceptance of online education by the students owing to a positive attitude toward e-learning.[7]

In the wave of the current aspect of which we are talking about, is the acceptance of web-based education effortlessly is still questionable. The key reason for this is lacking of practical application of the education which holds a great importance when the medical field is concerned. Furthermore, one-to-one interaction with the patients and gaining expertise when encountering the needs of the patients is essential for the overall development of the professional in the medical field which can be seen as the major lacunae of web-based education.

However, coining two sides of every aspect online method of teaching and learning can undoubtedly lead to improvement in the education system. On comparison with customary didactic methods, study material can be simply uploaded and assessed by the students rendering them ease of access to scientific literature. Furthermore, self-learning skills can be readily fostered by the students. The core advantage that can be stated in relevance to our study is that it also helps in creating the scientific links with the faculty members across the globe. On complementing this, higher level of practices is seen among the dental professionals who agreed to this way of imparting web-based education en masse.[8]

In accordance to the successful implementation of online teaching and learning, a few studies have quoted that self-initiated learning significantly affects the academic achievement and education. Therefore, for the efficient online learning staff progress, change in the assessment and analyzing strategies along with technological fundamentals should be planned well and standardization needs to be ensured. Similarly, our study quotes the need for enhancement of web-based education by adding the newer features to which of the respondents have agreed upon.[9]

Seemingly, another aspect which needs to be pondered upon is the obstacles faced during conducting of such online programs. It includes, difficulties encountered in obtaining the learners' feedback, one-way education, difficulty in imparting practical education, especially among medical, dental, and allied sciences fraternity, lack of adequate control over learners along with pressure of time and bulk on content. In our study, the most common factor to which the participants agreed upon is lack of adequate control over the learners which is at ease during face to face or classroom-based teaching and learning. Our results fall in accordance to the study by Schlenz et al. who concluded that only 38.6% of dental faculty members would recommend online teaching and learning as a part of curriculum.[10]

Although web-based education is continually taking its pace with the learning pertaining to the medical and dental field, it is recommended to formulate a structured pattern so that the intricacy of practice can be analyzed and practical solutions can be put forth, refinements can be made.[11]

Despite of being wounded by this pandemic, we still stand together undefeated. Not only the clinical aspects but the teaching and learning growth has also been seen growing progressively. The key to applause is the web-based education or online education which has given equitable opportunities to the students as well as dental professionals to interact using online portals during this pandemic. Embarking on the success it is recommended to use the online education for quality learning purposes. At the same time, the obstacles encountered while conducting such programs such be pondered upon. Thus, the meager acceptance of web-based education by dental professionals during this pandemic along with the continual clinical practices can provide a sound base for the fraternity to establish scientific contacts and flourish during these testing times.


  Clinical significance Top


The clinical significance of our study is the implementation of the online education concept in India during this COVID-19 which can prove to be a source of coordinated and comprehensive learning that aids in rendering the quality education to all the students en masse. Through this initiative, web-based education can be incorporated as a primary source of imparting education. This can also provide a prospective for the dental professionals to lead in applying victorious strategies to improvise the provision of dental care to serve the country during these testing times.


  Conclusion Top


Based on the current study, it may be concluded that in spite of immense development of technology there is a lack of acceptance of web-based education among the health professionals. By visualizing the current Indian scenario and the results we got from our study, there is a need felt to include and introduce the concept of online education to inculcate in them, the importance of continual learning and assessment during this COVID-19 era. Thus, online education can serve as an analog to classroom learning where a child can be imparted knowledge about preventive oral health care along with the various treatment modalities that can aid in rendering efficient services regarding guarding the oral cavity.



 
  References Top

1.
Jafarzadeh Kenarsari F, Abouzari Gazafroodi K, Zaersabet F. Exploration of the experiences and viewpoints of faculty members on continuing education webinars: A qualitative study. Qual Rep 2019;1:15-32.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Alkanzi FK, Abd-algader AA, Ibrahim ZA, Krar AO, Osman MA, Karksawi NM. Knowledge, attitude and practice in electronic education among teaching staff and students in governmental medical faculties – Khartoum state. Sudan J Med Sci 2014;9:43-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Konwar IH. A study on attitude of college students towards E-learning with special reference to North Lakhimpur of Lakhimpur district, Assam. Int J Inf 2017;4:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Visalam V, Kumar A, Prakash A, Padmavathi R. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards E-learning among medical undergraduate students. IOSR J Appl Phys 2015;7:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Jena PK. Online learning during lockdown period for COVID-19 in India. Ed Board 2020;9:82.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Dhawan S. Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. J Educ Technol Syst 2020;49:5-22.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Hung M, Licari FW, Hon ES, Lauren E, Su S, Birmingham WC, et al. In an era of uncertainty: Impact of COVID-19 on dental education. J Dent Educ 2021;85:148-56.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Hattar S, AlHadidi A, Sawair FA, Alraheam IA, El-Ma'aita A, Wahab FK. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on dental education: Online experience and practice expectations among dental students at the University of Jordan. BMC Med Educ 2021;21:151.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Zimmerman BJ, Kitsantas A. Comparing students' self-discipline and self-regulation measures and their prediction of academic achievement. Contemp Educ Psychol 2014;39:145-55.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Schlenz MA, Schmidt A, Wöstmann B, Krämer N, Schulz-Weidner N. Students' and lecturers' perspective on the implementation of online learning in dental education due to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): A cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:354.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Regmi K, Jones L. A systematic review of the factors – Enablers and barriers – Affecting e-learning in health sciences education. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:91.  Back to cited text no. 11
    



 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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