Development and evaluation of a stand-alone web-based CAL program. A case study.

G Perryer, A D Walmsley, C W Barclay, L Shaw, A J Smith

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    The use of web browser technology allows the construction of computer-aided learning programs which will have a familiar interface to dentists. This paper reports on the evaluation of a web-based CAL program which covered the topic of tooth wear with an emphasis on the rôle of erosion in its aetiology. Evaluation of the software was made by 50 dentists contacted by an electronic mailing list. They completed a questionnaire which evaluated aspects of the functionality of the program educational objectives. The average age of the dentists was 39 years (range 24-70) and 82% were male. The average time of use was 1 h 10 min (range 15 min to 3 h). A significant change in their knowledge of tooth wear before and after using the program was recorded. Both the use of patient cases and leaflets scored highly with other aspects such as treatment planning and patient advice receiving high marks. All dentists commented that they had gained greater knowledge with particular reference to treatment and advice of tooth wear problems. 34 dentists (68%) found the web interface easy to use. Negative comments were mainly attributed to the quality of the pictures (4/50) which were corrected in the final release version. Respondents were asked to compare the program to other educational media on the same subject. 80% rated this CAL program as better than video, and 14% claimed it was as good as video. 84% rated it better than books, and 14% said it was as good as books. 98% preferred it to audio tapes and 86% preferred it to journals. The average amount that they would pay for a CAL package such as "tooth wear" would be 42 ECU. It is concluded that web browser software is a suitable medium for the use of a CAL program and this is reflected in its ease of use by dentists.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean journal of dental education : official journal of the Association for Dental Education in Europe
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000


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