Students and faculty perception of distance medical education outcomes in resource-constrained system during COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study

Faiz Tuma, Aussama K. Nassar, Mohamed K. Kamel, Lisa M. Knowlton, Naseer Kadhim Jawad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant challenges on medical education worldwide, particularly in experience- and resource-limited regions of the world. Collaborative efforts of educators and academic institutions are necessary to facilitate the adaptation to the new educational reality. In this study, challenges and outcomes of a newly implemented distance education curriculum are examined to share findings and provide recommendations. Methods: An alternative distance education curriculum with online resources and virtual lectures was developed and implemented in February 2020 at the Wasit University College of Medicine in Iraq. A post-implementation survey was developed for both faculty instructors and students to evaluate the program's effectiveness and perception. Results were compared between both groups. The study was approved by the University's Dean and exempted by the research committee for anonymity. Results: A total of 636 students and 81 instructors were surveyed. Approximately 33% of students and 51% of instructors found online education equivalent or superior to traditional face-to-face teaching methods. Almost 69% of students and 51% of instructors reported increased difficulties with virtual learning, primarily due to challenges with the available technology, unreliable internet connectivity, as well as perceive fatigue when listening to online lectures. Conclusions: Distance education provides a worthwhile alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in regions of limited experience. Adequate preparation, good quality audio-visuals and Internet, and student engagement activities are recommended to improve the quality of education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Distance education
  • Medical education
  • Online learning
  • Virtual meeting

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