Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: Following the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Government of India announced lockdown
from March 25, 2020, which included measures such as social distancing, canceling mass gatherings,
and closure of schools and colleges. Since the present generation of students spends a lot of time
on social media, especially WhatsApp, the utility of the same to discuss the various public health
domains of COVID‑19 through multiple‑choice questions (MCQs) was explored.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This longitudinal study was conducted among 154
participants (undergraduates, interns, postgraduates, and teaching faculty) for 3 months. MCQs on
COVID‑19 were disseminated through WhatsApp status of the investigator, and feedback regarding
the same was taken at the end of 3 months. The activity log was maintained, and the information was
downloaded as a comma‑separated value (CSV) file and exported to MS Excel. Descriptive statistics were
applied. The location of the participants was entered into the Microsoft Excel sheet and converted into
CSV file. The Geographical data were analyzed in the Quantum Geographical information System (QGIS).
RESULTS: Among the 154 study participants, 48% were undergraduates, 10.4% were interns,
30.6% were postgraduates, and 11% were teaching faculty. Eighty‑nine percent of the participants
felt that WhatsApp can be used as a platform for discussing MCQs. 89%, 93%, and 89.6% of the
participants felt that the exercise improved their analytical skills, helped in self‑directed learning, and
improved collaborative learning, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the participants responded that WhatsApp can be used as a platform
to discuss MCQs and that the exercise helped in collaborative and self‑directed learning.


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