Covid-19: teaching and learning in practical courses under special regulations - a qualitative study of dental students and teachers


The coronavirus pandemic led to a lockdown of public life. For universities, this meant suspensions or corresponding adaptations of practical courses. In Germany, Kiel Dental Clinic received special permission to start practical courses under appropriate hygiene conditions. The study aimed at recording the experiences and associated challenges of course implementation under the special regulations from the perspective of students and teachers.


Qualitative guided interviews were conducted with students and teachers at Kiel in the summer semester 2020. Students (4th, 6th, 8th, 10th semesters) were recruited and lecturers responsible for conducting the practical courses within the dental clinic's four departments. Evaluation was carried out by means of qualitative content analysis, whereby deductive procedures were supplemented by inductive ones.


Thirty-nine students and 19 lecturers took part. The flow of information at the start of the course was welcomed by students and teachers across the board. The lack of or limited adjustment to the scope tended to be assessed positively by students. The majority of both groups suspected there had been no reduction in learning, and learning had been improved due to the smaller group sizes. Regarding the necessary conditions for conducting the course, positive and negative aspects became apparent.


Students and teachers felt very relief to start the practical courses under special conditions although the implementation was very challenging for both groups. The structural and content-related course adaptations required a high degree of flexibility on the part of students and lecturers alike, but also meant that courses were able to be conducted without serious deficits in learning gains.


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