E-learning in medical education: students’ experience, challenges and perspectives: a cross-sectional study in India
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, E-learning, Online learning, Education, Students
Background: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, online classes were initiated in medical colleges for continuation of learning. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 537 undergraduate medical students in an Indian medical college using Google forms. The questionnaire contained sections on students’ online or e-learning experience and role of instructor in enhancing it; challenges and further scope of improved implementation of e-learning. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics. SPSS 23 was used for data analysis. RESULTS: Among study participants, (46.7%) regularly joined e-classes on time. Prior scheduling of classes (88.6%) and sharing of study material in e-learning application (84%) by teachers/instructors; interactive discussion with teachers (71.1%) and their response to students’ queries through e-learning application (77%) facilitated learning among participants. For (42.6%) e-learning represented considerable challenge in acquiring clinical medical skills. Theory lectures were found suitable for learning by e-learning mode while clinical case discussions were not preferred. Conclusion: E-classes had some definite advantages; however, undergraduate medical students preferred blended approach as e-learning represented a challenge for learning clinical medical skills. Instructors were found to have definite role in enhancing e-learning experience. Providing solutions to barriers like poor internet connectivity and resolution of technical glitches are essential for improved implementation of e-learning.
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