Journal Article
. 2018 Aug; 82(8):883-890.
doi: 10.21815/JDE.018.084.

Dental Students' Perceptions and Performance in Use of Conventional and Virtual Microscopy in Oral Pathology

Carla I R Fernandes 1 Roberta F Bonan 1 Paulo R F Bonan 1 Augusto C L S Leonel 1 Elaine J A Carvalho 1 Jurema F L de Castro 1 Danyel E C Perez 2 
  • PMID: 30068778
  •     3 citations


Virtual microscopy (VM) is a technology for showing microscope slides using computers and could be considered a progression of classic methodology using optical microscopes. The aim of this study was to analyze the perceptions and performance of dental students in oral pathology regarding the use of conventional microscopy (CM) and VM in relation to teaching and learning. All fourth-semester dental students (N=165) in an oral pathology course at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Brazil in 2016-17 were invited to participate in the study. Students first answered a questionnaire with ten multiple-choice items on VM in comparison with CM and then took an exam divided into two sections: the first contained three virtual slides on the computer; in the second, three glass slides were positioned in an optical microscope. Each slide question, asking students to identify the oral lesion shown, was worth two points. Both conventional and virtual slides were chosen from the main lectures in the oral pathology classes. Of the students, 132 completed the questionnaire (80% response rate), and 77 completed the exam (46.7% response rate). On the questionnaire results, most students perceived that VM was a superior method for teaching and learning compared to CM. Students earned a total of 312 points on the questions with virtual slides and earned 190 points on the questions with conventional slides. In this study, the use of VM in oral pathology teaching was favored by the students over CM and also contributed to these students' learning.

Keywords: dental education; oral pathology; virtual microscopy.

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