Assessment of Online Learning Procedure through the Eyes of Medical Students in COVID-19 Scenario
Dr. Paramita Mukhopadhyay,
Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College, 138, AJC Bose Road, Sealdah,
Kolkata-700014, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated closure of physical classroom for maintaining social distancing norms, prompting learning environment to shift from offline to online. Medical education has also undergone similar changes, and online education and assessment methods had to be implemented. Studentâ€™s perception regarding the same was assessed through this study.
Aim: To assess the perception of first year MBBS students about the online education and assessment during the lockdown period of two months.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on the first year MBBS students of North Bengal Medical College (NBMCH) during the COVID-19 Lockdown period (29th August to 9th September 2020). All first year MBBS students of NBMCH were added in WhatsApp groups created for academic purposes by Department of Anatomy, NBMCH during the lockdown period. Respective teachers in the academic groups carried out sharing of Digital Education Material (DEM), holding Online Interaction (OI) and correspondence with students, and taking Online Assessments (OA) through sharing questions framed in Google Forms. After two months, the perception of the students was assessed through a voluntary participation based online survey designed in google forms, the results of which were tabulated later and analysed.
Results: A total 95 students (54 Male, 41 Female) out of 200 had participated in the survey. Most students were reliant on smartphones (n=90, 94.7%) and mobile internet (n=78, 82%). Most agreed on DEM being relevant (83.2%) and informative (80.7%) but showed diverging opinion on ease of understanding, revision and overall fulfillment of learning objective. On OI, majority students responded positively on promptness, relevancy, informative and helpfulness but only 46.8% considered DEM and OI fulfilled the overall learning objective. Regarding OA students had an overall positive opinion. Comparing the online mode with offline, students mostly preferred the latter, though agreeing that online method of education was effective and it was easier to score in OAs.
Conclusion: While most students accepted online education, interaction and assessment positively, at the end most of them still preferred offline mode of education and assessment. This could reflect lack of student-student interaction and indicated need of further studies to explore the matter, to help us approach online education better.