Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India

2 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India


BACKGROUND: The current corona virus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) pandemic has led to the
disruption of academic activities including medical education which has made online learning only
available options for continuing education worldwide. Online learning has its own limitations, which
are further amplified if not implemented properly. Hence, there is a need to assess various barriers
faced in the implementation of effective online learning.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to identify the barriers and motivators in online learning
among medical undergraduates.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This internet‑based cross‑sectional study was conducted among
medical undergraduates of Punjab. The data collection tool was a semi‑structured self‑made
questionnaire prepared using “Google Forms,” which was then circulated in the WhatsApp groups
of the students. Received responses were imported to the Microsoft Excel sheet and statistical
analysis was done.
RESULTS: Out of the 592 participants, 533 (90%) faced some kind of problem in online learning.
Major among them were lack of personal interaction with teachers (52%), distractions at home (43.6%),
technology failure (43.2%), limited access to the Internet (39.2%), visual fatigue (38.5%), and
increased workload (25%). Benefits perceived were the comfortable environment of home (41%), easy
accessibility of recorded lectures (36.8%), and the opportunity to keep in touch with studies (35%).
CONCLUSIONS: The online learning process is not a replacement for routine classroom teaching
and clinical postings in medical education. However, it can supplement routine teaching, especially
during current COVID‑19 pandemic‑like situations. Most of the students (90%) were facing some
kind of difficulty in the online learning process due to unplanned and sudden shifts. Therefore, it is
necessary to identify and eliminate the various barriers to make online learning effective.


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