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Acta Odontológica Latinoamericana

versão impressa ISSN 0326-4815versão On-line ISSN 1852-4834


BORDONI, Noemí; SALGADO, Pablo A; ARGENTIERI, Ángela  e  SQUASSI, Aldo F. Learning strategies of dental students in Buenos Aires, Argentina prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acta odontol. latinoam. [online]. 2022, vol.35, n.3, pp.214-222.  Epub 31-Dez-2022. ISSN 0326-4815.

Various theories have endeavored to explain how knowledge is accessed. Students, in order to learn, need a good repertoire of appropriate metacognitive and self-regulating strategies and knowledge, which they use consciously or unconsciously. Teachers, in addition to knowing how to teach, need to be aware of students’ learning strategies, metacognition, and self-regulation, and of the impact of changes associated with recent pandemic scenarios. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the study strategies preferred by dental students in two different scenarios: prior to and during the pandemic. Materials and Method: The sample consisted of third-year dentistry students at Buenos Aires University (UBA) during 2019 (Group GP, 141 students, face-toface activity) and 2021 (Group GE, 60 students, e-learning during the pandemic). Participants were asked (a) to provide demographic information (sex and age) and (b) to answer the abridged ACRA scale. Statistical treatment included descriptive tests; Chi2, binomial exact and Student’s t-test (p<0.05). Results: The proportion of students who participated with respect to total students enrolled was 58.50% in 2019 and 26.20% in 2021, with female gender being significantly higher. There were significant differences in total number of participants during the different periods (p=0.001), and in gender distribution during the pandemic (p=0.007). Comparison between groups GP and GE showed no significant difference regarding preferences expressed in total values for the scale or for the domains. Analysis of preferences according to gender showed significant differences in total group (p=0.007) and the domains CLCS (Cognitive and Learning Control Strategies) (p= 0.008) and LSS (Learning Support Strategies) (p=0.002). The mean values of preferences selected by females were higher. Similar results were found upon analyzing preferences during the pandemic (n= 60) considering total score (p= 0.033) and the domains CLCS (p= 0.035) and LSS (p= 0.007). Conclusions: The study identified trends towards an increase in the score and consequently greater use of techniques included in the domains related to metacognition, especially among women. There is potential neutralization of the impact created by the methodological shift between the two periods (face-to-face and e-learning) probably as a result of the implicit adaptability, latent in students, regarding digital methodology, which enables them to adapt to learning in challenging situations.

Palavras-chave : learning strategies; e-learning; gender; COVID-19.

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