Education for Health

: 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 124--125

Perceptions of students and faculty toward the newly adopted online teaching program as a response to COVID-19 pandemic

Fatma Zehra Calikusu1, Ahmet Murt2, Mustafa Sait Gonen1,  
1 Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Ahmet Murt
Department of Internal Medicine, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Fatih, Istanbul

How to cite this article:
Calikusu FZ, Murt A, Gonen MS. Perceptions of students and faculty toward the newly adopted online teaching program as a response to COVID-19 pandemic.Educ Health 2021;34:124-125

How to cite this URL:
Calikusu FZ, Murt A, Gonen MS. Perceptions of students and faculty toward the newly adopted online teaching program as a response to COVID-19 pandemic. Educ Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 12 ];34:124-125
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face education was partly suspended and many universities, including ours, moved their students away from campuses.[1] Consequently, online education materials started to take over the medical education environment.[2] However, not all health-care institutions used online materials for teaching before, including ours which has been a traditional medical school. The use of online systems in our institution was activated just after the closure of campuses. Thus, online teaching and learning is a quite new concept for our students and faculty.

By applying a self-administered questionnaire, we aimed to analyze how effectively these new online teaching and learning materials were used by our students and faculty. Thirty faculty members and 60 students participated in the survey which was composed of Likert scale questions, scored from 1 to 6.

Thirty percent of the faculty reported having previous experience of using online teaching systems. Faculty members who had previous experience of delivering online lectures were more comfortable while using the online teaching software (4.10 ± 0.73 vs. 3.35 ± 1.18; P = 0.043). Students were more efficient in downloading online materials or uploading their assignments in comparison to faculty who had more problems in doing these tasks (P = 0.001) [Table 1].{Table 1}

Both medical students and faculty were unsatisfied with the level of active participation in the online lectures. Students claim that they can request help, express their opinions, offer help and respond to their peers in a timely manner. On the other hand, faculty were not as optimistic as students in rating their abilities on these topics.

Students and faculty are in agreement about the negative effect of COVID-19 on social interaction and the use of academic capabilities [Table 1]. Some reasons for such negative effects could be insufficient internet infrastructure, suffering of students and their families by the disease itself, and the general state of chaos affecting daily life. In a previous study on the psychological impact of COVID-19, it was shown that 0.9% of college students suffered from severe anxiety with 2.7% and 21.3% of them, respectively, having moderate and mild levels of anxiety.[3] Conventionally, face-to-face learning environments and amphitheater lectures have been the most important teaching tools. It is possible that students thought they could not benefit from faculty enough through online platforms and faculty thought that they could not sufficiently transfer necessary knowledge and skills.

There might be some advantages of online education, such as adjustment of the learning environment to daily life or having the chance to follow up on recorded materials. On the other hand, possible disadvantages are diminished social interaction, poor technical skills, and connection problems.[4] Lack of a preparatory period to adapt to new software might be another obstacle to effectively using online systems. Clinical teaching might also be impaired, as bedside practical training cannot be offered online. Support and consultancy for medical schools, especially for those who have just implemented online teaching tools, would increase the effectiveness of online teaching and learning.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Information for Students. Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 May 28].
2Woolliscroft JO. Innovation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Acad Med 2020;95:1140-2.
3Cao W, Fang Z, Hou G, Han M, Xu X, Dong J, et al. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry Res 2020;287:112934.
4O'Doherty D, Dromey M, Lougheed J, Hannigan A, Last J, McGrath D. Barriers and solutions to online learning in medical education – An integrative review. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:130.