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Objective: This study aims to investigate the reality of distance e-learning among undergraduate medical students, and to identify their opinions toward this new approach to learning. In addition, the study summarises the advantages and disadvantages of online education in the College of Medicine from the students’ perspective.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted, and data was collected by sending a questionnaire link to undergraduate medical students. The questionnaire assessed students’ attitudes towards different variables: the academic content, students’ stress level, effectiveness of the e-learning method, devices and platforms used by students, advantages & disadvantages, and the best subjects taught using this method as judged by students during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: 1,170 students have completed the questionnaire. Regarding the evaluation of the academic content and its quality, it was notable that students with excellent grades had a positive attitude. While assessing the students’ stress levels, male students expressed higher levels of stress and depression. The online teaching is good in basic and theoretical part of the subjects and could not be substitutive to the practical part.
Conclusion: E-learning gave students the opportunity to listen to the lecturer and see PowerPoint slides, as if it is a one-on-one lecture. it saves time, but the absence of individual interactions is a disadvantage. This study emphasises that the triad of successful remote e-learning consists of an adequate amount of training for both tutors and students, accessibility to the teaching materials, and maintaining an interactive platform.
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