Vol 6 (2021): Continuous Publishing
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Published online: 2021-10-13

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E-learning in ophthalmology among undergraduate medical students in India during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ksheeraja Y1, Soumya Ramani1, Ananth Bhandary1, Divya D. Sundaresh1
Ophthalmol J 2021;6:137-142.


Background: The purpose of the study was to assess electronic learning (E-learning) effectiveness in understanding theoretical and clinical concepts in ophthalmology among undergraduate medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and methods: Third-year medical students in the ophthalmology term were enrolled after obtaining informed consent. Online classes were conducted from April 2020 after the commencement of lockdown. An online survey in the form of a questionnaire was issued to the students to evaluate the effectiveness of E-learning — 136 students participated in the survey. Students’ perception of access to information technology (IT), internet connectivity, feedback on online learning of clinical skills, and theoretical concepts were evaluated. Students answered the questionnaire based on the Likert scale. The effectiveness of online teaching was assessed by student’s performance in the online examination.

Results: The percentage of students who had access to a computer was 72.2%. Regarding understanding theory, 54.8% of students felt E-learning was effective, while 25.25% thought it was beneficial for clinics. The use of Power-Point was considered valuable among 47.5% of students, and videos and images were helpful to understand concepts better. The barriers to E-learning were: lack of face-to-face interaction with teachers, peers (57%), connectivity (53.3%), and hardware and software issues (45.2%). The 50.8% of students assessed online teaching as a method comparable to traditional teaching.

Conclusion: E-learning was found to be an effective alternative mode of learning concepts in ophthalmology. In the current setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the need to maintain social distancing, this mode of learning is very useful.

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