Vol 7, No 4 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-01-31
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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of motivation to study in medical students in Poland

Jill Dybiec1, Bartłomiej Tarkowski2, Julia Krzemińska1, Magdalena Szlagor1, Anna Zalewska-Janowska2
Forum Dermatologicum 2021;7(4):91-99.

Abstract

Introduction: The COVID-19 forced many countries to implement various restrictions, including closing university building and changing the form of education (switching to online learning). E-learning, despite its numerous advantages, does not allow direct contact with the patient and makes active participation in classes difficult. At the same time, the limitation of social contact, isolation, and general atmosphere of insecurity may have affected the psychological condition of students and their willingness to work independently. 

Material and methods: The aim of the study was to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the level of motivation for self-study and the education of medical students. Additionally, it was decided to test whether selected personality traits (self-efficacy and resilience) were factors that significantly modified this effect. A total of 442 participants, female (343) and male (99) students of medical schools from Poland took part in the online survey. The study used questionnaires to measure personality factors (the Resilience Measurement Scale and the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale) and a Self-Assessment Questionnaire — to determine the change in the level of motivation to study during the pandemic. 

Results: The results obtained in the study indicate a significant decrease in the level of motivation affecting each year of study, particularly intensified in first-year students. The collected data indicates also that high levels of resilience and self-efficacy correlated with higher levels of motivation. 

Conclusion: The obtained results suggest that an important challenge for the university will be to implement activities aimed at activating students, stimulating their motivation, and developing personal competencies. The authors also indicate that e-learning is not able to completely replace teaching in the traditional form, although it may be a good complement to the educational offer of the university. 

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