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The Emerging Role of Computer Literacy in Improving the Performance of Dental Students

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the current knowledge, skills, and opinions of undergraduate dental students of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences about information communication technology (ICT). A survey was carried out to investigate the capability and attitude of dental students towards computers, using questionnaire.

Materials & Methods: Questionnaires were distributed among undergraduate dental students. All students had access to computers and Internet at the university. Dental students of the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth years of the dentistry program were asked to complete a questionnaire presented to them at the end of a lecture at the end of the second semester 2008-09.

Results: The response rate was 84.4%. As for free and unrestricted access to computers at the school of dentistry, 93.4% of the students had access to computers at home. All users were computer users. A significant number of students (57.9%) judged themselves proficient in information technology (IT) skills. There was no significant difference between the two sexes about IT. More than 90% of the student acquired their computer skills through sources other than the university. Both sexes used computer to access Internet (78.9%), for word processing (18.4%), multimedia (7.8%), presentations (18.4%), and data management (1.3%). Some students selected more than one item.

Conclusion: Our study revealed a high level of ability to use ICT facilities among dental students. Attention is required to develop interventions that can improve ICT skills. However, the educational use of ICT among Iranian students remains high.

Author(s): Jalaleddin Hamissi , Shahrzad Gholami , Hesameddin Hamissi

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