A Bumpy Road to Online Teaching: Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Education
Keywords:Online Teaching/ Learning, Impact, COVID-19, Medical Education.
AbstractObjective: With sudden onset of online teaching and learning after the lockdown, this study aims to explore how COVID-19 has impacted medical education in Pakistan. Methods: A survey-based research with open versus closed questions format was conducted from April-May 2020. Respondents were medical teachers from private and public-sector medical and dental colleges of Pakistan. An adequate and representative sample was intended therefore data were collected until relevance of the participants, time and data saturation were reached. Closed-ended questions employed descriptive statistics. Whereas, qualitative data was thematically analyzed by all authors independently to ensure analytical triangulation. Results: Responses from one hundred and twenty-five medical teachers highlighted an impact on the stakeholders, assessments, and educational environment. The transition from face-to-face to online teaching went hasty and haphazard therefore, stakeholders found difficulty in adapting. Factors such as rudimentary system, inefficient internet, lack of previous experience further accelerated the situation. It was difficult to teach Anatomy and clinical skills online. Teachers were not satisfied and preferred actual classrooms. Students were non-serious owing to didactic lectures with no interaction. There was uncertainty about online assessments. The climate was too robotic without emotions, eye contact and physical presence. Conclusion: COVID-19 has impacted medical education at different levels. This study has revealed institutional unpreparedness regarding stakeholders training with online modalities. We need to train stakeholders to let them cope well with the present situation. It is therefore suggested to introduce user friendly online teaching modalities in new medical curricula.
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