Background: E-learning is a method of formalized teaching with the help of electronic resources. This system has come to rescue for the continuity of medical and dental education in India following COVID-19 pandemic and lock down.
Aim and Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the perception and to determine differences in perception of E-learning during the COVID-19 outbreak among medical and dental students.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional and questionnaire-based study using online Google form was distributed among the 1st year medical and dental students of a private medical college. The questionnaire had items about the demographic details of the students, general E-learning class information, and 14 five point Likerts scale questions about their perception on E-learning. Perception of E-learning was analyzed using Chi-square test and MannWhitney U-test that were used to compare differences in perception between the students and P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: About 85.3% medical students and 100% dental students participated in the study and zoom was the most preferred platform used to deliver E-learning classes. About 53.9% students felt that there is lack of interaction in E-learning class and 75.8% students felt that learning environment is good at college than at homes.
Conclusion: E-learning is an effective alternative educational tool to continue teaching at the time of pandemic and lock down. However, there is need for proper implementation, management plans with good assessment techniques, along with adequate training of faculty and students so that it can also be used as a blended learning method in the future.
Key words: Blended Learning; COVID-19; E-learning; Lock Down; Perception