HOW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN CHINESE MEDICAL SCHOOLS PERCEIVE DISTANT LEARNING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Purpose: The aim of this study is to assess the perception of international medical students of e-learning in China, since medical teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic had to adapt to challenges, and students had to cope with the new teaching modality, more so international students. Therefore, the opinion of students with their first contact to a fully virtual education will be helpful to modify e-teaching to better suit the students’ needs. Method: Four hundred seven medical students, in China, were recruited via social media and were asked to complete structured questionnaires, regarding technical and content aspects of their e-courses. Findings: Most issues reported were of technical nature, especially for students attending the school distantly and network instability/unavailability was frequently (52.48%). Moreover, the audio was less helpful than texts/images and the senior students were less satisfied with the technical (0.005) and content (p=0.001) aspects. They also were more critical of their teachers’ performance (p=0.042). Clinical cases and scenarios also received the lowest score. Implications for research and practice: Overall students did not feel confident with the e-learning, comfortable implementing it to patients and were reluctant to embrace it. Both technical difficulties and understanding issues impeded international students from embracing e-learning medical teaching, in China and efforts need to be made to acclimatise them to this new reality.
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