Main Article Content
Introduction: The Coronavirus pandemic resulted in a global lockdown which had a major impact on Education. The training of the medical and dental students whose structure is largely based on hands-on, face-to-face teachings and physical engagements had to change into a virtual mode of training. This study assessed the perspectives of the clinical medical and dental students at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria about the effectiveness of the E-learning mode of study occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The study design was a descriptive cross-sectional survey using the proportionate stratified sampling technique to recruit participants. An online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics and perceived effectiveness of the e-learning mode of study from the clinical students. Chi-square and logistics regression tests were conducted at a 5% level of significance.
Results: A total of 395 undergraduate clinical students in their various study levels (400 level- 77, 19.5%; 500 level- 153, 38.7%; 600 level- 165, 41.8% were involved. They were mostly males (56.2%), and their MBBS: BDS ratio was 3: 1. The mean (SD) age was 24.23 (2.65) years with ages ranging between 20-40 years. Overall, the majority of participants (335, 84.8%) perceived that the e-learning method of study was ineffective for learning. Although the majority of the respondents (77.5%) admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their general learning negatively, most of them found online communication with teachers through chat boxes more effective and believed students used it freely (86.1%; 68.4% respectively). In terms of collaboration with colleagues, learning satisfaction, and evaluation of student performance, most participants did not consider the e-learning method effective (82.0%; 69.1%; 56.7% respectively). Students perceived effectiveness of the e-learning method improved with a rising level of study, increasing age, and among those with positive attitudes towards e-learning (p=0.003; p=0.038; p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusion: Although the clinical medical and dental students considered the online learning method, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as beneficial as it enabled the continuity of their education, they had a low perception of its effectiveness as a mode of learning.