Blended learning in dentistry: An ideal format for advancing skills as a busy dentist in general practice
King’s College London Dental Institute is one of the leading dental universities in Europe, offering a wide range of postgraduate programmes. The most popular graduate programmes are the MSc & MClinDent blended learning degrees. Blended learning or flexible learning is described as ‘a learning solution that incorporates a mix of online and face-to-face elements’. Busy practitioners can study the academic components of their course online from anywhere in the world and use the face-to-face elements for the intensive hands-on learning experiences. These face to face teaching components are available annually in the UK and overseas.
The Dental Institute pioneered blended learning over 20 years ago and has been developing the format ever since. The increase in popularity and availability of the Internet has allowed technology enhanced learning to go from strength to strength. Students are able to meet with tutors and fellow students on a regular basis online, helping deliver an interactive and engaging programme of study.
Dentists remain in their practice whilst studying
The format has been designed to enable dentists to remain in dental practice while training. This work-based learning approach is highly relevant to dentists today, enabling them to immediately apply new skills to the benefit of their practice and patients, let alone allow them to continue to earn a living while they are studying.
Students studying through blended learning at the Dental Institute have access to world leading experts in the field. These experts contribute to the teaching on the residential elements of the course, provide online webinars and prepare expert course materials. For students living in countries where expertise might not be readily available, this enables them to earn a degree from a world-class university whilst studying in their home country. Students from over 60 countries are currently enrolled on courses provided by the Institute. For many international students, the use of a blended learning approach has made graduate studies affordable.
The future of blended learning in dentistry is exciting and offers endless opportunities as new technologies emerge. Amongst others, the Institute has successfully launched an MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry and an MSc in Maxillofacial Prosthetic Rehabilitation.
An MSc in Endodontics is starting in January 2013.