Suspension of face-to-face teaching and ad hoc transition to digital learning under Covid-19 conditions - a qualitative study among dental students and lecturers

Katrin Hertrampf, Hans-Jürgen Wenz, Hanna Kaduszkiewicz, Katja Goetz


BACKGROUND: In mid-March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led to a national lockdown in Germany. Face-to-face teaching was cancelled in universities for the 2020 summer semester. Teaching moved online with no prior IT testing and lecturer training. The study analyses experiences of the suspension of face-to-face teaching and the move to digitalised learning for students and lecturers of dentistry at Kiel.

METHODS: In summer 2020, qualitative guided interviews were conducted with students (4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th semesters), and lecturers. Deductive and inductive qualitative content analysis of the results was carried out.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine students (69% female) and 19 lecturers (32% female) were interviewed. Reactions to the changes in teaching were observed. Feelings ranged from an essentially positive attitude, through insecurity and uncertainty to a failure to fully appreciate the situation. The loss of social contact was lamented. Digitalisation was associated with technological challenges and additional work. However, it also fostered learning independent of time and place, and encouraged autonomy. Negative aspects of digitalisation included a lack of feedback and loss of interaction.

CONCLUSION: The introduction of ad hoc digitalisation challenged both students and lecturers alike. Dealing with lockdown and the changes in teaching and studying required significant flexibility.

ZeitschriftBMC Medical Education
Seiten (von - bis)257
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 08.04.2022