Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perceptions of undergraduate paramedical science students

This article was originally published here

Radiography (London). November 30, 2021: S1078-8174 (21) 00187-5. doi: 10.1016 / j.radi.2021.11.008. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of undergraduate Allied Health Sciences students towards online learning during the COVID 19 outbreak.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted with undergraduate students at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. A self-administered online questionnaire had four sections to assess demographic information; details of online learning; the perspectives and challenges of e-learning were used for data collection.

RESULTS: A total of 518 responses were received from the five disciplines of Radiography (32.8%), Nursing (24.9%), Medical Laboratory Sciences (18.2%), Pharmacy (14 , 5%) and physiotherapy (9.7%), resulting in a response rate of 76.4%. The majority preferred smartphones (73.2%) for online access, and Zoom is the most used online communication platform (72.8%). The respondent’s overall perception score ranged from 9 to 27 (positive ≥ 18, neutral = 18, negative ≤ 18) with a mean (SD) of 20.4 (4.0). Even though the majority (59.7%) agreed that online learning is more comfortable to communicate than conventional learning, most respondents (48.3%) have a negative perception of the offer of practical topics. and online clinics. Poor internet connections (67.0%) and lack of electronic devices (53.3%) were the biggest challenges encountered while learning online.

CONCLUSION: The majority of students have a positive perception of online learning. Online learning appears to be an effective learning strategy when students have equal access to online facilities.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Although undergraduate paramedical science students faced several challenges, they have demonstrated their versatility and acceptance of the e-learning strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, a well-structured online learning program will be beneficial for students to continue their education during a pandemic.

PMID:34893435 | DO I:10.1016 / j.radi.2021.11.008

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