The Covid-19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread rapidly around the world within months. The pandemic has affected every area of life, including education. As the situation worsened, a global lockdown led to the lockdown of educational institutions. The closure of schools, colleges, and universities has created a stressful event for educational administrations with severely restricted opportunities.
The Ministries of Education of many countries have announced an online course to continue the learning process in a safe way. All universities, including medical colleges, have switched to online learning in a matter of days. A massive, unplanned shift from traditional learning to an all-online learning setting has changed the way healthcare institutions deliver courses to students. 21st-century medical graduates rely on online textbooks and modules for video lectures and computer-based exams.
With this evolution of educational modalities, the “flipped classroom” learning model has been adopted by many medical schools around the world. These experiences are different than in a healthcare setting, but at least they help us embrace a synchronized online model during this critical time. The Covid-19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread rapidly around the world within months. The pandemic has affected every area of life, including education. As the situation worsened, a global lockdown led to the lockdown of educational institutions. The closure of schools, colleges, and universities has created a stressful event for educational administrations with severely restricted opportunities.
Online learning is classified as synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous techniques allow for “live” interaction (audio conference, video conference, web chat, etc.) between instructor and student, while asynchronous techniques introduce significant time delays between instruction and receipt. (Emails, previous video recordings, discussions, etc.). Forums, etc.).
However, online learning can be challenging for students due to limited nonverbal communication. The authors found that students` performance in online courses was inferior in terms of both course duration and end-of-course grades
Online learning in medical education makes access to large amounts of information more effective and easier, especially in uncertain global situations like pandemics. The current COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly increased the focus on online learning in education, and this shift is expected to prove to be a permanent trend in medical education going forward. The Unaizah College of Medicine and Medical Sciences methods included lectures, case reviews, four-box case analyses, clinical case reviews, webinars, and dry labs (online lab demonstrations). Most of it was covered in lectures, accounting for about 60%, case reviews (including 4-box case analysis and clinical case reviews) accounted for 20%, webinars 10%, and dry labs about 10%. of the course.
The research study explored medical students` perspectives and preferences regarding online modules for synchronized learning. No previous studies have been conducted in the Kingdom regarding synchronous online learning in undergraduate medical education. The analysis identified factors that influence medical students’ approval or disapproval of synchronized online learning. Students who agreed to our study were motivated by the benefits of learning content in less time compared to on-campus learning.
For this reason, more preclinical students preferred online learning for future academic years compared to clinical students who participated in this research. Conversely, Cardall S. noted in his 2008 study and concluded that preclinical students prefer live lectures when given the opportunity. But, the missing component of the effectiveness of online learning was clinical practice.
However, online learning can serve as an efficient resource for clinical students when methods are enhanced through the integration of modalities such as virtual simulation techniques and computer-based models of real processes.
The themes emerging from this study support the idea that online learning can help medical students, but it does not mean that online learning can completely replace live face-to-face sessions, research participants faced many challenges in adopting online learning. Aside from technical issues, the study participants’ experience was influenced by the student’s individual characteristics, such as other roadblocks that included quality assurance issues in the institution’s implementation of online learning.
A systematic and well-defined institutional approach is required to formulate a well-regulated and efficient system that can facilitate the adoption of structured methods by faculty while implementing online learning modules. Lack of non-verbal communication by the instructor was also identified as a major challenge for study participants.
As we talk about another online system, they are providing us conveniently with everything for example online shopping. Many online e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, Daraz, and Marca Marketplace are working efficiently to provide the best products to their customers. But in case the medical school is missing, the major factor is hand on practice with patients.
Synchronized online learning was well received by medical students. Concurrent challenges for our study participants included technical issues, individual behavioral characteristics, institutional, methodological barriers, and lack of nonverbal cues. Additionally, preclinical students were more likely to choose online lectures over their preference for the upcoming academic year compared to clinical students.