Response of First Year Medical Students
of West Bengal about Compulsive Online
Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic:
An Observational Study
Circus Maidan, Natunchati, Bankura, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors for a long period. The institutional education system got a backseat. But Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) syllabus had to be covered within a stipulated time frame. As with every academic curriculum, online teaching had to be implemented in MBBS courses too without any scope for developing adequate logistics beforehand. Teachers, as well as students, tried their best to cope up with this ‘new normal’. Every day student had to be online for few hours to attend their classes as per the modified roster during the pandemic.
Aim: To gather the data regarding perspective, satisfaction and problems of online classes from the 1st year MBBS students and also to recommend the modifications for future curriculum and upgrade the quality based on the students’ feedback and suggestions.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was done in a single day across three Government Medical Colleges of West Bengal after eight months of continued online classes since lockdown. An online survey was conducted among the first-year students through google forms, which was mailed to every student’s email ID at a stipulated time of the day with prior notification. Out of 700 google forms sent, 527 responses were received. Responses were automatically analysed by google and were represented graphically.
Results: Out of 527 responses received, 145 were from females (27.5%) and 382 were from males (72.5%). Students were ready to adapt to this new development and 54.6% were more or less satisfied with the teaching methodologies, though interruption with the internet hampered their classes very often. Some could not afford the online class due to logistic or financial constraints. A 67.9% of students learnt to acquire in-depth knowledge by themselves though a good number of students (56.7%) disliked online classes and lost interest in the topic.
Conclusion: Online teaching cannot replace classroom teaching but can complement it as compulsive prolonged online teaching made the learning self-directed. A thoughtful blending of online and offline classes can be implemented to make an Indian Medical Graduate (IMG) a lifelong learner.