Effect of WebCT tool usage on maintenance of treatment standards by denturist practicum students
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Paradis, Janet Patricia
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SubjectNorthern Alberta Institute of Technology; Dentures; Dentistry; WebCT; Telecommunication in education; Edmonton (Alta.); Alberta; Online surveys (Research methodology); Qualitative research (Research methodology); Quantitative research (Research methodology)
This study explored the extent to which using online communication tools helped NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) denturist students on third-year practica maintain laboratory and clinical standards of treatment. The inquiry was framed by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, and was conducted from a collaborative constructivist approach with quantitative data used to enhance and support a mainly qualitative design. Results showed that all elements of a CoI were present in the online environment and that participants voluntarily used WebCT communications tools for academic and social interaction. Standards of treatment on practical projects completed by the study group were no different than those of cohorts that did not use communications tools. Modifications to instructional practices made comparison of standards achieved on patient cases unfeasible. Study results informed immediate changes made to the online practicum site, and suggestions for long-term pedagogical changes to denturist practica were made.
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