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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 181-188

Knowledge, attitude, and challenges in digital learning using smartphones among dental students of South India: a cross-sectional survey

1 Oral Cancer Screening Vertical, Indian Cancer Society, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Adhiparasakthi Dental College & Hospital, Melmaruvathur, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Dentistry, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam Post, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Sathyabama University Dental College & Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
5 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India
6 Department of Prosthodontics, Crown & Bridge, Adhiparasakthi Dental College & Hospital, Melmaruvathur, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Krishnasamy Nitya
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Adhiparasakthi Dental College & Hospital, Melmaruvathur 603319, Tamil Nadu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_285_20

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Aim: Smartphones are a class of mobile phones with multipurpose facilities. They are being used for entertainment, shopping, and even educational purposes. Therefore, a study was planned to assess the knowledge, attitude, and challenges toward smartphone usage for digital learning among the dental students of South India. Materials and Methods: An observational cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted by using a structured, validated, 21-item questionnaire among dental students (final-year students, interns, and postgraduates) from seven random dental colleges in and around Chennai. The data about demographic status, the extent of smartphone utilization for knowledge, students’ attitudes toward smartphone usage, and barriers in digital learning were collected. Chi-square test was applied. Results: In the present survey, 701 students have responded, predominantly females (80%). All participants owned a smartphone, and 62% of them had surfing time as more than 4 h. Nearly 94% had used smartphones for social network surfing. Almost 99% participants viewed instructional videos and read scientific articles using their smartphone. The most common site accessed for knowledge seeking was Google Scholar (39%), followed by Wikipedia (34%) and PubMed (20%). Forty-five percent of postgraduates felt that smartphones enabled them to study independently. Small screen (56%) of smartphones and less knowledge about the available resources (42%) were the major reported barriers for digital learning through the smartphone. Conclusion: Dental students used their smartphones for educational purpose and showed a favorable attitude toward their use in dentistry. Smaller screens, nonavailability of wireless access, and less awareness about the reliability of available resources were reported as barriers.

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