Evaluation of the first year of Dental Health Partnerships: a web-based distance Learning partnership between UK dental educators and students from low-resource countries

Author: S. Abdul-Razzak


Aim To introduce and discuss the results of a newly-founded online, distance learning organisation, Dental Health Partnerships. The motivation behind the project is to bridge the gap between dental educators in the UK and dental students in low-resource communities. The results of the first partnership with Amoud Dental University, Somaliland, are presented.

Method Sixteen tutorials were conducted between February 2016 and June 2016 for the final year dental students via an online virtual classroom (WizIQ). Sixteen students participated in the weekly tutorials, each of which lasted for approximately 90 minutes. The students were sent online questionnaires at two stages during the study to qualitatively evaluate their experience.

Results Nine of the sixteen students responded to both questionnaires. One-hundred percent of the participants were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the programme at the end of the year. The attendance and participation rates for the weekly sessions were positive. The students had theoretical knowledge of the topics, however, the application of theoretical concepts to clinical scenarios was a challenge.

Conclusion The results of the first year of the partnership indicates the relevance of case-based tutorials to dental practice in Somaliland, equipping students with the clinical-based knowledge to be effective in the field after graduation.

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