The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 23 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching the Tooth Morphology Course to the New Generation of Learners: A Cross-sectional Study

Gino Silvestre, Soohan Chung, Elvin Tolentino, Vincent Chee, John Won

Keywords : COVID-19 pandemic, Dental education, Generation Z, Learning style, Tooth morphology

Citation Information : Silvestre G, Chung S, Tolentino E, Chee V, Won J. Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching the Tooth Morphology Course to the New Generation of Learners: A Cross-sectional Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2022; 23 (1):3-7.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-3279

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 21-05-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Aim: The purpose of the study was two-fold. First, to evaluate students’ learning style and relate it to their academic performance. Second, to highlight changes implemented in the tooth morphology (TOMO) course as a response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Materials and methods: The study was performed during 2021–2022 with 101 dental students. Didactic lectures were delivered online and students challenged with nine quizzes and one final examination. Didactic score was calculated by averaging the scores of quizzes and the final exam. Lab score was a combination of five lab projects and the final competency. At course completion, students received a survey on their learning style and how they would like to receive feedback. Kruskal-Wallis test was used to assess differences in didactic and lab scores among groups. Results: Many students perceived themselves as visual learners (39%) followed by kinesthetic (24%), aural (19%), and reader (18%). There was no difference among learning style groups in performance of didactic (p = 0.340) and lab scores (p = 0.845). Students preferred that the instructor talks them through the questions for feedback on quizzes (41%) while they preferred demonstrations when receiving feedback on their wax-ups (51%). Most students (75%) preferred a TOMO teacher that uses demonstrations. 2020–2021 marked the year of the pandemic where all lectures were delivered online and waxing projects were performed at-home. A postpandemic transformation occurred during 2021–2022, reverting to conventional in-person lab sessions while keeping online didactic lectures. Conclusion: We conclude that TOMO should be delivered by using various teaching styles rather than focusing on a single method while providing more demonstrations. Clinical significance: Teaching tooth morphology to the new generation type of learners efficiently will affect the clinical work of dental graduates.

  1. Cilliers EJ. The challenge of teaching generation Z. PEOPLE: Int J Soc Sci 2017;3(1):188–198. DOI: 10.20319/pijss.2017.31.188198.
  2. Kwon SR, Hernández M, Blanchette DR, et al. Effect of computer-assisted learning on students’ dental anatomy waxing performance. J Dent Educ 2015;79(9):1093–1100. DOI: 10.1002/j.0022-0337.2015.79.9.tb06003.x.
  3. Goodacre CJ, Younan R, Kearbey V, et al. An educational experiment resulting from COVID-19: the use of at-home waxing and webinars for teaching a 3-week intensive course in tooth morphology to first year dental students. J Prosthodont 2021;30(3):202–209. DOI: 10.1111/jopr.13295.
  4. AlQahtani N, AlMoammar K, Taher S, et al. Learning preferences among dental students using the VARK questionnaire: a comparison between different academic levels and gender. J Pak Med Assoc 2018;68(1):59–64. PMID: 29371720.
  5. The Jamovi Project (2021). Jamovi (Version 1.6) [Computer Software]. Retrieved from: [Last accessed February 12, 2022].
  6. Moore K, Frazier RS. Engineering education for generation Z. Am J Eng Educ (AJEE) 2017;8(2):111–126. DOI: 10.19030/ajee.v8i2.10067.
  7. Generation Y less satisfied than other generations. 2015. Available from: [Last accessed February 12, 2022].
  8. Rothman D. A tsunami of learners called generation Z. 2016. Available from: http://www.
  9. Prensky M. Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On Horizon 2001;9(5):1–6. DOI: 10.1108/10748120110424816.
  10. Fahim A, Rehman S, Fayyaz F, et al. Identification of preferred learning style of medical and dental students using VARK questionnaire. BioMed Res Int 2021;2021. DOI: 10.1155/2021/4355158.
  11. Aldosari MA, Aljabaa AH, Al-Sehaibany FS, et al. Learning style preferences of dental students at a single institution in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, evaluated using the VARK questionnaire. Adv Med Educ Pract 2018;9:179. DOI: 10.2147/AMEP.S157686.
  12. Mozaffari HR, Janatolmakan M, Sharifi R, et al. The relationship between the VARK learning styles and academic achievement in dental students. Adv Med Educ Pract 2020;11:15. DOI: 10.2147/AMEP.S235002.
  13. Nasiri Z, Gharekhani S, Ghasempour M. Relationship between learning style and academic status of Babol dental students. Electron Physician 2016;8(5):2340. DOI: 10.19082/2345.
  14. Taheri M, Falahchai M, Javanak M, et al. Analyzing the relationship between learning styles (Kolb and VARK) and creativity with the academic achievement of dental students. J Educ Health Promot 2021;10. DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_1492_20.
  15. El Tantawi MM. Factors affecting postgraduate dental students’ performance in a biostatistics and research design course. J Dent Educ 2009;73(5):614–623. PMID: 19433536.
  16. de Azevedo RD, da Rosa WL, da Silva AF, et al. Comparative effectiveness of dental anatomy carving pedagogy: a systematic review. J Dent Educ 2015;79(8):914–921. PMID: 26246529.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.