Learning experiences of pre-clinical medical students in virtual problem-based learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Foong, Chan Choong and Lye, An Jie and Aziz, Che Rafidah and Hong, Wei-Han and Pallath, Vinod and Cockburn, Jessica Grace and Rosli, Siti Nurjawahir and Krishnan, Kuhan and Sivalingam, Prahaladhan and Zulkepli, Noor Filzati and Vadivelu, Jamuna (2022) Learning experiences of pre-clinical medical students in virtual problem-based learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Asia Pacific Scholar, 7 (1). 33 – 43. ISSN 24249335, DOI https://doi.org/10.29060/TAPS.2022-7-1/OA2493.

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Introduction: Medical schools universally responded by migrating teaching and learning to virtual learning environments (VLE) due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of virtual problem-based learning (PBL) in lieu of face-to-face sessions seems to be an appropriate response, but its effectiveness was understudied. The study compared the learning experiences of pre-clinical medical students at the beginning and completion of the virtual PBL. Methods: The study was conducted at the University of Malaya, a public-funded university in Malaysia. A 12-item questionnaire was developed and validated to assess the learning experiences of students conducting virtual PBL sessions. Principal component analysis and test for internal consistency suggested that the questionnaire is valid and reliable. The questionnaire was administered to pre-clinical students (Year 1 and Year 2) twice: at the beginning and the end of the virtual PBL implementation. Their responses were compared for the domains “learning”, “confidence” and “concern”. Results: Three hundred and forty-four pre-clinical students were recruited but only 275 students (80) responded to both the initial and final questionnaires. Based on the responses, the learning experiences of students generally improved by the completion of the virtual PBL implementation. Students were most convinced that they obtained and understood the information given during the virtual PBL. However, they continued to be worried about passing the clinical examination and content acquisition. Conclusion: The study supports the feasibility of virtual PBL as an acceptable alternative to replace face-to-face PBL during the COVID-19 pandemic. © 2022 TAPS. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Problem-based learning; Undergraduate medical education; Virtual learning environment
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 08:31
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 08:31
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/43159

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