Insights on Using Social Media in Dental Education: A Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia

Mona T. Rajeh1, *, Khalid T. Aboalshamat1, Afnan A. Nassar1, Shahinaz N. Sembawa1, Seba A. Al Hebshi2, Mohammad K. Badri3
1 Department of Dental Public Health and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdul-Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Pedodontics & Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

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© 2020 Rajeh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Dental Public Health, and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; E-mail:



The purpose of this study is to investigate the insight of utilizing social media as an educational tool among dental faculty members in Saudi Arabia.


A descriptive cross-sectional survey was distributed to 380 randomly selected faculty members from three governmental universities in the Western region of Saudi Arabia. The participants completed a validated questionnaire to assess the intent of using social media and their opinion about the benefits and drawbacks of adopting social media as an educational tool. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test were used to analyse the results.


Out of 380 faculty members who were invited to participate, 271 responded (71% response rate). Results reveal that WhatsApp, followed by YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were the mostly used social media platforms. Around 31% of the participants reported using social media for ten hours or more. The main reason reported by the participants for using social media was searching for information (82.17%), followed by professional networking (78.29%) and learning (75.97%). The majority of the participants agreed that social media have advantages like it helps students to communicate and share ideas with instructors, update students with new resources, and improve students’ skills. Social media also has several disadvantages; the respondents believe that it can increase their addictive potential, create more demand for internet access, and raise concerns on direct contact with students.


As an educational tool, social media can enrich the teaching experience by using the appropriate strategies. The findings may be useful for educators to adopt social media platforms in dental education.

Keywords: Dentistry, Education, Faculty members, Learning, Saudi arabia, Social media.