Survey Among Medical Students During COVID-19 Lockdown: The Online Class Dilemma
Keywords:COVID-19, Lockdown, Cross-sectional survey, Undergraduate medical education, Medical students
Background: In view of COVID-19 lockdown in India, many colleges started online classes. This study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of, and the factors affecting, medical students attending online classes during lockdown.
Methods: We designed an online questionnaire with open-ended, close-ended, and Likert scale questions. Links to the questionnaires were shared with the medical students who have attended at least one online class during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Respondents were 1061 participants from 30 medical colleges from the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India.
Results: The majority of students – 94% (955/1016) – used smartphones to attend online classes. ZOOM/ Skype – by 57.1% (580/1016) – and Google platforms – by 54.4% (553/1016) – were commonly used. Learning at leisure – 44.5% (452/1016) – was the top reason why students liked online classes, whereas network problems – 85.8% (872/1016) – was the top reason why students disliked them. Lack of sufficient interaction – 61.1% (621/1016) was another reason why students disliked online learning. More than half the participants – 51.7% (526/1016) – did not want to continue online classes after COVID-19 lockdown. More students – 55% (558/1016) – favored regular classes than online classes.
Conclusion: Students in our survey did not seem favorably disposed to online classes. Network problems experienced by students should be addressed. Furthermore, teachers should try to make the classes more interactive and educational institutions should address the problems pointed out by the students in order to make online classes more effective in the future.
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