Perception of Equivalence Between Online and Face-to-face Academic Activities by Undergraduate Medical Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, Government medical college, Ratlam, India

2 Department of community medicine, Government medical college, Ratlam, India


Background and aim: As online teaching continues to grow in recent years and COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown enforced medical education for online classes in most of the countries, including India, so it is important to investigate medical student's overall Perception about online teaching environments compared to face-to-face (F2F) teaching.
Materials and methods: A study was conducted to evaluate the Perception of undergraduate medical students about online teaching. An observational study initiated during lockdown period in April 2020 in a new medical college running in the second year and only two batches available with a total strength of 330 student's attending classes through online mode from the last five months during COVID-19 Pandemic and 295 students were voluntarily participated in the study depending on exclusion and inclusion criteria. The authors measured the student's Perceptions through a pretested questionnaire by assessing their level of interaction, Small Group Teaching (SGT), understanding concepts, knowledge acquired, and conducive environment for learning online courses compared to face-to-face (F2F) courses by using a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: Students' overall Perception of online classes conducted in terms of interaction, SGT, knowledge acquired, concepts, and conducive environment for learning was negative compared to Face-to-face (F2F) teaching mode.
Conclusion: From a small study, it is very well evidence that students are not able to enjoy online teaching in comparison to face-to-face (F2F)  teaching, but online teaching methods can be used as an additional tool instead of replacing it with face-to-face (F2F)  classes, particularly in medical education to develop a hybrid curriculum.


Main Subjects

[1]  Parry, M. Colleges see 17 percent increase in online enrolment. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2011.
[2]  Parker K, Lenhart A, Moore K. The digital revolution and higher education: College presidents, public differ on value of online learning. Pew Internet & American Life Project. 2011.
[3]  Kaya T. Enrollment in online courses increases at the highest rate ever. Chronicle of Higher Education. 2010.
[4]  Allen TH. Is the rush to provide on-line instruction setting our students up for failure?. Communication Education. 2006;55(1):122-6.
[5]  Allen IE, Seaman J. Grade change: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group.2014.
[6]  Benoit PJ, Benoit W, Milyo J, Hansen G. The effects of traditional vs. web-assisted instruction on student learning and satisfaction. Report published by the University of Missouri. 2006.
[7]  Bernard RM, Abrami PC, Lou Y, Borokhovski E, Wade A, Wozney L, Wallet PA, Fiset M, Huang B. How does distance education compare with classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Review of educational research. 2004;74(3):379-439.
[8]  Jahng N, Krug D, Zhang Z. Student achievement in online distance education compared to face-to-face education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. 2007;10(1).
[9]  Sitzmann T, Kraiger K, Stewart D, Wisher R. The comparative effectiveness of web‐based and classroom instruction: A meta‐analysis. Personnel psychology. 2006;59(3):623-64.
[10] Pei L, Wu H. Does online learning work better than offline learning in undergraduate medical education? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medical education online. 2019;24(1):1666538.
[11] Kilgo CA, Sheets JE, Pascarella ET. Do high-impact practices actually have high-impact on student learning? Some initial findings. Inannual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, St. Louis, MO 2013.
[12] Lizzio A, Wilson K, Simons R. University students' perceptions of the learning environment and academic outcomes: implications for theory and practice. Studies in Higher education. 2002;27(1):27-52.
[13] Sherblom JC. The computer-mediated communication (CMC) classroom: A challenge of medium, presence, interaction, identity, and relationship. Communication Education. 2010;59(4):497-523.
[14] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance. National notifiable diseases surveillance system. Atlanta, GA: Available at: https://www. cdc. gov/mmwr/mmwr_nd/nd_data_tables. html. Accessed. 2017.
[15] Faux TL, Black-Hughes C. A comparison of using the Internet versus lectures to teach social work history. Research on social work practice. 2000;10(4):454-66.
[16] Leasure AR, Davis L, Thievon SL. Comparison of student outcomes and preferences in a traditional vs. world wide web-based baccalaureate nursing research course. Journal of Nursing Education. 2000;39(4):149-54.
[17] Parry M. Will Technology Kill the Academic Calendar? chronicle. 2010.
[18] Sahu PK, Nayak S, Rodrigues V. Medical students’ perceptions of small group teaching effectiveness in hybrid curriculum. Journal of education and health promotion. 2018. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_71_17.
[19] Jaques D. Teaching small groups. Bmj. 2003;326(7387):492-4.
[20] Mentzer G, Cryan J, Teclehaimanot B. Two peas in a pod? A comparison of face-to-face and web based classrooms. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. 2007;15(2):233-46.
[21] Horspool A, Yang SS. A comparison of university student perceptions and success learning music online and face-to-face. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 2010;6(1):15-29.
[22] Platt CA, Amber NW, Yu N. Virtually the same?: Student perceptions of the equivalence of online classes to face-to-face classes. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 2014;10(3):489.
[23] Davis BG. Tools for teaching. John Wiley & Sons; 2009.
[24] McKeachie WJ, Svinicki M. Problem-based learning: Teaching with cases, simulations, and games. McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, 12th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 2006:222-5.