eLearning is happening at Dentistry

15 November 2008

This year the Faculty of Dentistry at Sydney University has embarked upon an ambitious eLearning program. For the first time, WebCT technology has been rolled out across the Bachelor of Dentistry and the Bachelor of Oral Health. WebCT is a learning management system that fosters online interactive learning.

The above WebCT site was designed by Dr Antonia Scott
The above WebCT site was designed by Dr Antonia Scott


For example, through WebCT students can undertake quizzes and self-graded tests, submit their assignments electronically, participate in discussion forums, receive automatic announcements from academic staff and communicate directly and receive feedback from lecturers 24/7. In addition, WebCT allows the delivery of multimedia resources as well as content downloading and chat facilities.

WebCT in action
WebCT in action


In a recent survey administered to 255 students at the Faculty of Dentistry, they agree to the following statements in regard to using WebCT:

Keep me more in touch with lecturer's announcements


Reinforce my understanding of lectures by downloading lectures PowerPoint presentations, notes or readings


Enhance my knowledge by providing links to a variety of web-based resources including multimedia


Facilitate communication with my lecturers (via email) beyond class time


Help checking my understanding and progress through quizzes or self-tests


Enable me to participate more in discussions connected to subject-related topics through online groups


Give me a quick link to the Library site


Make my life easier by submitting assignments electronically



Other eLearning programs include Lectopia and Resource Builder. Lectopia is a lecture capture and online delivery technology through which students can access lectures recordings 24/7 anywhere. In turn, Resource Builder is a 'user-friendly' online template that allows students and lecturers to build problem-based learning activities suitable for clinical skills such as interactive cases and quizzes. Other initiatives include Virtual Microscopy which allows students to magnify digital slides at anytime and anywhere via the Internet. In addition, the Dentistry Library runs a specialized blog with the latest news on dental technology available at


Dr Boris Handal, BEd (Hon), MEd (Cowan), PGCompEd (Melb), EdD (Sydney)
Learning Development and Evaluations Co-ordinator