Online Learning in Medical Student Clerkship: A Survey of Student Perceptions and Future Directions.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a major impact on medical education with clerkship students abruptly removed from clinical activities in 2020 and hastily immersed in online learning to maintain medical education. In 2022, students returned to in-person clinical experiences, but synchronous learning sessions continued online with extensive use of asynchronous online resources. This change offers a unique opportunity to gather information about students’ perspectives regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of online learning strategies. This study aims to explore the clerkship student experience with the integration of online learning and in-person learning into formalized educational sessions in clerkship. Methodology The authors administered an online survey to clerkship students at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Canada in spring 2022. The survey consisted of primarily Likert-style questions to explore the perceived effectiveness of various online learning strategies. Results are reported as the proportion selecting “quite effective” or “extremely effective. ” Results A total of 89 students responded to the survey (57. 4% of graduating class). For synchronous online learning, case-based learning was perceived as the most effective teaching strategy (61. 8%), and audience response systems were the most effective strategy for improving audience engagement (70. 1%). For asynchronous online learning, interactive cases (84. 9%) and student-developed online study guides (83. 6%) were perceived as the most effective. Students held varying perceptions regarding how online learning impacted their well-being. When considering future clerkship curricula, the majority of clerkship students preferred a blend of in-person and online learning. Conclusions This study identified that most clerkship students prefer a hybrid of in-person and online learning and that ideal online learning curricula could include case-based learning, audience response systems, and a variety of asynchronous learning resources. These results can guide curriculum development and design at other medical institutions.

Concepts Keywords
Canada asynchronous curriculum
Coronavirus emergency remote teaching
Pandemic flipped classroom
Teaching technology-enhanced education


Type Source Name
disease MESH coronavirus disease 2019
disease VO effectiveness
disease VO Canada
disease VO effective
disease MESH emergency

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