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Next generation of dentists targeted with online course

For all those who wish that dental staff training started earlier, to ensure the very best dentists enter practices, there has been good news. A new course has been announced that can teach young people about dentistry while they are still in school.

The University of Sheffield has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Discover Dentistry, in order to get the next generation of potential dentists excited about the subject. Dentistry is not taught in schools, so this course is an opportunity for those who are interested in going into the field.

According to the university, “Discover Dentistry will enlighten learners with the truth about teeth – from the importance of a smile and how to fix broken teeth, to the letters and numbers called out by the dentist during a check-up and how dentures are made”.

The course will be held online, and take six weeks to complete. It is estimated that the total study time is just three hours a week. The University of Sheffield wants to remove any barriers to education that people may encounter, so there are no prerequisites for the course. The only thing that people need in order to sign up is enthusiasm for dentistry.

The participants will be able to interact with experts from Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry, and learn everything from the history of the profession to today’s puplic perception of dentists and their line of work.

Dr Chris Stokes, one of the teachers of the course from the Academic Unit of Restorative Dentistry, said: “Whether you are an aspiring dentist, or want to learn about the interesting multidisciplinary world of looking after smiles, we are inviting anyone with an interest in the subject to join us for an entertaining and insightful exploration of your mouth and the people who care for it.”

Discover Dentistry is being launched by both the University of Sheffield and FutureLearn, the first UK company to provide MOOCs. Marie Kinsey, academic lead for MOOCs and director of learning and teaching at the Department of Journalism, said: “Discover Dentistry will be our first MOOC with FutureLearn and has been a fascinating programme to work on.”

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