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Effective Learning Through Online Dental Courses

By Expert Author: Karen McDonagh

Learning in a classroom environment has been observed, determined and suggested to take place in three ways. The first way is through an expert imparting or sharing information to an individual or to a crowd. The second way is through a gathering of individuals or peers exchanging information with each other. The third way is through independent study or reflection. It has been observed and concluded that effective education would involve a person experiencing a balance between these three ways of learning.

Over the years, improvement in distance learning modules has successfully incorporated these methods for learning. As such, more credibility and acceptance is given to distance education of different fields of study, including that of oral health. Many recognized dental organizations have started offering online dental courses for dental practitioners, and practically all of these courses are accepted as fulfillment of a dental practitioner's required CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours or points. This acceptance gives more credence to the validity of further education through online dental courses.

The first method for effective learning is used by online dental education websites in teaching modules where a student learns from experts of the topic, whether from a written lecture or a video lecture or other teaching aids that the expert provides. The information is imparted or shared from teacher to student, similar to how it is in lecture classrooms or seminar rooms wherein someone is speaking in front of an audience. Online dental courses usually offer video lectures and demonstrations from dental professionals who have been recognized as experts in the field or in a particular topic of oral health care.

The second method that promotes effective learning is experienced in these websites that offer online dental courses through the service's chat groups and email correspondence options. Real-time forums about any topic may take place involving dental practitioners from around the world, which is another benefit of this service. Opinions may be exchanged among peers without holding bias against or being restricted by location, language, race, etc. because participants in these online forums may opt to enter the discussion with anonymity. This allows for focus to be on the data or opinion imparted by a peer rather than on unintentional biases that may be put in face-to-face communication.

The third method for effective learning is probably the most widely used by online dental courses. It is the principle behind the teaching website’s provision of educational articles that a student may read, which is then followed by a quiz that essentially tests if indeed learning has been achieved. This service allows the dental practitioner a margin of freedom or flexibility as to when to begin studying an article and as to how long to take in understanding it. There is no pressure to keep up with a lecture, to respond to a teacher or to ask questions. There is no pressure to keep up with other students who may have advanced learning skills or previous knowledge of the subject. The individual is allowed to absorb the information and reflect on understanding it at his or her own pace.

Dental practitioners may thus be advised and encouraged to participate in online dental courses for further study and for fulfillment of their required CPD hours. There is a recognized education standard that is used or observed in these education websites. Consequently, it can be said that a dental practitioner may expect to gain quality education and understanding of oral health subjects through this method of study.


Karen McDonagh is a proud contributing author and write articles on several subjects including Dental CPD. For more information please click and see Online Courses and Education for Dental Students.

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