A Cross-sectional Study to Compare Merits/Demerits and Effectiveness of Online versus Classroom Learning among Medical Undergraduates in a Private Medical College during COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in India
Introduction: The World Health Organization on March 11, 2020 declared COVID-19 as pandemic and on March 24, 2020, the Indian Government ordered a nationwide lockdown. At present all the medical students have experience in exclusive online learning (11 months) and also, they have experience in only classroom learning that was before lockdown. To actively engage and maintain student’s interest in learning, understanding each student preferences and perceptions regarding class room and online learning was important. Objectives: The objetcives of the study were to know the merits/demerits and effectiveness of online learning in comparison to classroom learning as perceived by medical students. Materials and Methods: Type of study – this was a cross-sectional study. Study period – December 15, 2020,–March 5, 2021. Study area – this study was conducted at RVM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Laxmakkapally village, Siddipet district, Telangana. Study population – study was conducted among undergraduate medical students. Sampling method – Universal sampling method was considered. Sample size – the sample size was 232 students responded out of 450 with Margin of Error 4.5. Observations and Results: According to the overall grading of Likert score, 53.5% agree and strongly agree about Merits and 69.4% agree and strongly agree about De merits. Merits identified were flexible timings (63.4%), ability to stay at home (68.1%), record meeting (60.8%), etc. Demerits identified were lack of interaction with patients (82.3%), unable to learn practical skills (93.1%), lack of personal interaction with teacher (75.4%), etc. About 44.4% students experienced health issues during and due to online learning. Conclusion: Classroom learning was much more effective over online learning which was statistically significant (χ2 –168.76).
Key words: Online learning, classroom learning, Likert score, medical undergraduates
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