Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global health issue and has had a major impact on education. Consequently, half way through the second semester of the academic year 2019/2020, learning methods were delivered through distance learning (DL). We aimed to evaluate the student perspective of DL compared to classroom learning (CL) in the undergraduate dentistry study program at the Faculty of Dentistry Universitas Indonesia. Methods: An online questionnaire was sent at the end of the semester. A total of 301 students participated in the study. Results: Duration of study influenced student preference. Higher number of first-year students preferred DL compared to their seniors (p < 0.001). Students preferred CL for group discussion, as DL resulted in more difficult communication and gave less learning satisfaction. Only 44.2% students preferred DL over CL, although they agreed that DL gave a more efficient learning method (52.6%), it provided more time to study (87.9%) and to review study materials (87.3%). Challenges during DL included external factors such as unstable internet connection, extra financial burden for the internet quota and internal factors such as time management and difficulty to focus while learning online for a longer period of time. Conclusion: Despite some challenges, dental students could adapt to the new learning methods of full DL and the majorities agreed blended learning that combined classroom and distance learning can be implemented henceforth. This current COVID-19 pandemic, changes not only the utilization of technology in education but the pedagogy strategies in the future.
- Blended learning
- Classroom learning
- Distance learning
- Undergraduate dental study program