Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India

2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Doon Medical College, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India


BACKGROUND: COVID‑19 pandemic has forced medical education to undergo sudden
metamorphosis from the traditional face‑to‑face education to distance online learning. This transition
was dealt with a lot of infrastructure and technical difficulties from both teacher and learner ends,
especially in a developing country like India. This study was conducted with the aim of analyzing
students’ perspective and problems faced in the live online teaching.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective longitudinal study conducted on medical
students enrolled in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
courses at a government medical college located in hilly state Uttarakhand, India. Clearance from
the institutional ethical committee was obtained. The students were invited to voluntarily participate in
online survey by filling Google Forms which was E‑mailed as well as shared in social media platform.
A total of 237 medical students participated. The first survey was conducted at the time of initiation
of online mode of teaching, during May 1–7, 2020, and second, after completion of 6 months of
regular online teaching, during November 1–7, 2020. The questionnaire comprised initial section
on demographic details and consent followed by 27 and 30 sets of statements pertaining to online
medical education experience in the first and second questionnaires, respectively. A 5‑point Likert
scale was used. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 24.0. Chi‑square test was applied for
association, and P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: A total of 237 students participated in the study. The response rate was 52.7%. Majority of
respondents had suitable devices (89.1%) and Internet facilities (62%) for online classes. The students
accepted the new method of teaching very well, but for practical sessions and clinics, traditional
classes were necessary. Long screen time, lack of student–teacher interaction, and interaction with
peers were major concerns of students. However, over the study period, the availability of resources,
friendliness toward technology, and inclination toward virtual classes increased.
CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has introduced to a new normal where online teaching cannot be
ignored. Despite challenges faced during online learning, 65.5% of students preferred hybrid teaching
in future for delivering medical education. Acceptance for online education by students increased
over time in the study.


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