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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-31

Pre-COVID conventional offline teaching v/s intra-COVID online teaching: A descriptive map of preference patterns among first year M.B.B.S students


1 Department of Anatomy, Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Pathology, Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Centre, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission18-Feb-2021
Date of Decision02-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance06-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Himanshu R Joshi
Department of Pathology, Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Centre, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/amit.amit_34_21

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Medical education today is equipped with an armamentarium of newer online-based methods of correspondence courses, computerized virtual patient simulation, many open online courses in medical sciences, and tele-learning. The sudden, unplanned change from conventional teaching to online teaching during COVID-19 poses unique challenges and opportunities for teachers and learners, both. Many themes and principles have emerged for good online teaching learning and assessment practices (GOTLAP). Materials and Methods: The present study, involving 392 MBBS first year students from two universities, was conducted with an aim of comparing students' perception regarding online and offline teaching methodology, and online v/s offline method of assessment and to recommend the principles of GOTLAP. Data collected were analyzed by Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis to provide a focused measure on how students perceive the program of online teaching and assessment. Results: In the present study, majority of the students (approximately 49.6%) have shown preference for offline teaching methodology, 22.9% has shown similar preference for both methods, while 27.5% has shown preference for the offline teaching method. SWOT analysis applied on qualitative data is a useful tool for assessing our present status in online learning and laying a ground work for formulating GOTLAP and a plan of future strategy. Conclusions: The GOTLAP principles can effectively pave way for the incorporation of blended learning (currently underutilized) in undergraduate medical education.

Keywords: Good online teaching-learning and assessment practices(GOTLAP), Self directed learning(SDL), Teaching learning methods(T-L methods); Strength, weakness, opportunity and threat(SWOT) analysis


How to cite this article:
Bhardwaj R, Hathila S, Joshi HR, Vaniya V H. Pre-COVID conventional offline teaching v/s intra-COVID online teaching: A descriptive map of preference patterns among first year M.B.B.S students. Acta Med Int 2021;8:28-31

How to cite this URL:
Bhardwaj R, Hathila S, Joshi HR, Vaniya V H. Pre-COVID conventional offline teaching v/s intra-COVID online teaching: A descriptive map of preference patterns among first year M.B.B.S students. Acta Med Int [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 3];8:28-31. Available from: https://www.actamedicainternational.com/text.asp?2021/8/1/28/319448




  Introduction Top


Medical education today has evolved dramatically due to the availability of Internet freely accessible for everyone. Medical education today has evolved from traditional classroom teaching to newer methods of correspondence courses, computerized virtual patient simulation, open online courses and most recent being tele-learning involving virtual patient room learning and even assessing students for the learning domains of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.[1] This evolution holds promise as medical fraternity is faced with the dual role of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing the medical teaching as well.

COVID-19 and online shift

Due to COVID-19 lockdown, the teaching of medical students got a sudden, unplanned change from conventional teaching to online teaching.[1] With the government policies of lockdown and educational institutions closure, including medical colleges, online methods now remains the only means to continue with teaching learning (T-L) and assessment activities.[2]

Challenges and advantages

This sudden, unplanned change from conventional teaching to online teaching poses unique challenges and opportunities for teachers and learners, both.

Creating a feeling of social presence and belongingness for both student and teacher and absence of social cues to assess the student grasping of the delivered topic for teachers are few of the challenges faced in online teaching. Lockdown also severely affected body donation programs resulting in cadaveric material and hand-on-training in dissection being compromised.

On the other hand, online T-L methods hold distinct advantages over the traditional classroom teaching, including delivery of the latest evidence-based material to learners and promoting self-directed learning.[3] At the same time, the evaluation of competencies through online assessments, thus enabling learners to receive feedback for self - improvement can also be done simultaneously.[4]

The unique challenge is to enable students to have an access to content (resource material) as well as interactively engaging students in active learning.[5],[6]


  Materials and Methods Top


Study design

The present bi-centric, cross-sectional, descriptive, online study was conducted on 242 and 150 MBBS 1st year students of Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat and Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Center, Moradabad. The approval for the study protocol was taken from IRB of the institute with IRB No. IRB/20/2021. The study was conducted with an aim of comparing students' perception regarding online and offline teaching methodology and online v/s offline method of assessment.

Study setting

Two separate self-made questionnaires were prepared in google form – the first regarding the perceptions of T-L methodology, comprised of 10 questions. The second form collected perceptions regarding assessment practices of online method and consisted of 8 questions. The first section of both the forms dealt with basic information about the respondents and a declaration of consent for participation. Both the prevalidated forms used a 3-point Likert scale for the analysis of responses.

The link of the form was shared in WhatsApp group. All the students were given detailed instructions and information regarding objectives, methodology, and duration of the study.

"Closed Ended Questions" format was used to compare the various parameters regarding online and offline teaching methodology [Table 1] and assessment [Table 2] and "Open Ended Questions" format was used to evaluate online teaching.
Table 1: Parameters for teaching learning methodology

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Table 2: Parameters for assessment

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The experience of present batch is unique in the sense that it has faced both offline and online T-L and assessment methods – this unique exposure formed the basis of our study.

Online teaching methodology practiced during this pandemic includes:

  • Live lectures (through zoom, Federal Communications Commission, and other apps)
  • Recorded lectures (slides with narration)
  • Recorded videos of dissections, osteology, and embryology models
  • Assignments with online submission (through mail, WhatsApp).


Along with teaching, assessment was also done online during this time by conducting

  • Online viva (via zoom, etc.,)
  • Written exam (via google forms and Flexi quiz app)
  • Online objective structured practical examination (OSPE) (time-based spotting).


Sample size

A total of 400 1st year MBBS students were administered with the structured questionnaire, among which 392 students responded, giving a response rate of 98%.

Statistical analysis

Data were organized with the help of Microsoft Excel, subjected to descriptive statistics using frequencies and percentage and analyzed by Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis [Table 3].
Table 3: SWOT analysis

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  Results Top


The SWOT analysis provides a focused measure on how students perceive the program of online teaching and assessment.[7] The various themes that emerged from the present study of opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges are sorted into a SWOT analysis [Table 3], findings of which are discussed below.

Strengths included the development of new online resources and skills, familiarity, and up gradation of new online resources and promotion of self-directed learning (SDL) skills.

Elimination of exposure to histology slides and microscopes, lack of hands-on dissection, limitations in assessment, and limited technical support were identified as weaknesses.

Opportunities identified included an opportunity to collaborate with other institutions, an opportunity to implement blended learning in future medical teaching and an opportunity to develop alternative teaching and assessment methods.

Reduced teacher-student engagement, lack of peer interaction, network issues, and ill effects on health such as ZOOM fatigue, were considered threats.


  Discussion Top


Online teaching is immensely useful and has helped to continue the teaching learning activities in the time of lockdown. The T-L ways and assessment are conducted successfully and in fact have well acceptance by the medical students as has also been pointed in present study which showed a favorable and positive approach of the students with regard to the idea of integrating online with offline teaching.

Online teaching and assessment can be incorporated to compliment conventional medical education but cannot be its alternate. Currently, the lacuna exists in the implementation and utilization of online resources and teaching in undergraduate teaching curriculum, but with the implementations of Good Online Teaching Learning and Assessment Practices (GOTLAP), this lacuna can be filled and online methods of teaching and assessments can be blended within current system.

Various advantages mentioned with the online teaching learning methods are no missed classes due to illness, public holidays, or any other reason. Challenging concepts can be interactively taught, which becomes more interesting and exciting for the learner when compared with didactic traditional teaching. Learning in online environment creates more in depth discussions. Online teaching usually collects higher quality of questions, comments, and discussions from online learners.[8]

Good online teaching learning and assessment practices

Extrapolating the principles of Good Teaching Practices, as had been done by Vyas et al. review,[9] to online teaching, various effective online teaching programs and faculty development programs can be formulated. For a program to be sustainable and practical, various principles of good online teaching learning and assessment practices[10],[11] can be recommended from our study. Such programs should be focused on three major aspects:

For students – These must promote the development of higher order thinking, communication skills, teamwork spirit, and active SDL.

For teachers – These must be matched to curriculum and objectives, must have opportunities for online assessment, must have mechanisms for timely feedback and must encourage synchronous and asynchronous interaction between teacher and student.

For stakeholders – It must communicate high expectations from each stakeholder.

Online-assessment can supplement assessment of knowledge domain (e.g., multiple choice question or EMCQs), assessment of skill domain (e.g., Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), Objective structured practical examination (OSPE), virtual patient cases, or logbooks), and assessment of attitude domain (discussion boards or peer-assessment of project work). These assessments can then be modified or adapted to formative or summative assessments for documentation of the educational experience.[12],[13]


  Conclusions Top


There is a need for research to identify other effective online teaching modalities and to formulate a meticulous model, which incorporates GOTLAP-based recommendations to overcome various challenges of online T-L and assessment challenges, through the integration of an optimal proportion of online learning in undergraduate medical education.

Limitations of the study

  1. This study established information pertaining to the education of medical students only and did not consider other allied health disciplines
  2. The small sample size of the medical colleges included could be interpreted as a limitation of the study in the sense being not representative of the medical students' community.


Human subjects

Participants' consent in this study was obtained through Google forms with the clarification that the obtained electronic survey is completely voluntary and that the responses may be compiled for academic, research, and publication purposes.

Animal subjects

This study did not involve any animal subjects or tissue.

Acknowledgment

MBBS 1st year students of Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat and Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Center, Moradabad and Anatomy departments of both college for valuable contributions.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Esani M. Moving from face-to-face to online teaching. Clin Lab Sci 2010;23:187-90.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Gohiya P, Gohiya A. E-Learning during COVID 19 Pandemic. Available from: http://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-29575/v1.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Ruiz JG, Mintzer MJ, Leipzig RM. The impact of E-learning in medical education. Acad Med 2006;81:207-12.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Ellaway R, Masters K. AMEE Guide 32: E-learning in medical education Part 1: Learning, teaching and assessment. Med Teach 2008;30:455-73.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Rajab MH, Gazal AM, Alkattan K. Challenges to online medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cureus 2020;12:E8966.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
O'Doherty D, Dromey M, Lougheed J, Hannigan A, Last J, McGrath D. Barriers and solutions to online learning in medical education - an integrative review. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:130.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Longhurst GJ, Stone DM, Dulohery K, Scully D, Campbell T, Smith CF. Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) Analysis of the Adaptations to Anatomical Education in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Anat Sci Educ. 2020;13:301-11. doi: 10.1002/ase.1967. Epub 2020 May 9. PMID: 32306550; PMCID: PMC7264742.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Coppola NW, Hiltz SR, Rotter NG. Becoming a virtual professor: Pedagogical roles and asynchronous learning networks. J Manage Inform Syst 2002;18:169-78.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Vyas R, Anshu H, Burdick W, Singh T. Application of classroom good teaching practices to an online faculty development programme in India. South East Asia J Med Educ 2010;4:14-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Chickering AW, Gamson ZF. New Directions for Teaching and Learning: Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers; 1991.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Saiyad S, Virk A, Mahajan R, Singh T. Online teaching in medical training: Establishing good online teaching practices from cumulative experience. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2020;10:149-55.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Crisp G. E–Assessment Handbook. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group; 2007.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Khalil R, Mansour AE, Fadda WA, Almisnid K, Aldamegh M, Al-Nafeesah A, et al. The sudden transition to synchronized online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A qualitative study exploring medical students' perspectives. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:285.  Back to cited text no. 13
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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