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Original Research

Online teaching-learning experience among medical students in a developing country during the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic: A pilot study

Arunima Chaudhuri, Suhrita Paul, Tanushree Mondal, Ayan Goswami.


Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic has brought a sudden change in education across the globe. To ensure social distancing, Medical Colleges in India also started online medical teaching since Nation Wide lockdown from 24 March 2020.

Aim and Objective: To assess the impact and effectiveness of online teaching program provided by the Department of Physiology in Burdwan Medical College, West Bengal, among the first Prof. M.B.B.S students.

Materials and Methods: This pilot study was conducted in a time span of 3 months after obtaining Institutional ethical clearance. Two hundred students enrolled in 1st year participated in this study. Mode of teaching was Flipped Class Room Assisted Self-directed Learning. Multiple assessments were conducted. Two surveys to assess stress level with the perceived stress scale of Sheldon Cohen and three feedback surveys to assess and modify the online teaching program were conducted.

Results: Academic activities carried by the majority of students were 5 h or more. About 77.1% were satisfied with the online support, 86.1% felt that regular assessment and feedback provided to them were beneficial, and 11.4% had difficulty in studying physiology in online mode. About 87% students wanted the online support to continue along with offline mode in the near future. Students performed significantly better in post-test sessions (65.155 ± 4.74 vs. 53.378 ± 5.4; P = 0.0045**) as compared to pre-test sessions. There was no significant difference in performance between traditional lecture (even with revision) classes and online sessions. No significant difference in stress scores was observed between two surveys conducted in consecutive 2 months.

Conclusions: It is evident that online teaching is an effective tool in teaching physiology to undergraduate medical students and may be taken into consideration in future teaching-learning and assessment program.

Key words: Online Medical Education; Undergraduate Teaching; Physiology

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