Evaluation of Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning in the MBBS Programme, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona – Students’ Perspectives
Russell Pierre, Helen Trotman and Andrea Garbutt
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on medical education worldwide. At the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), of The University of the West Indies, Mona, teaching was suspended on 13 March 2020. During the period 13 March to 13 April 2020, faculty were mandated to emergently modify courses and adopt remote learning approaches for completion of students’ learning outcomes. Faculty managers conducted a rapid assessment of student access for remote learning prior to the Semester 2 restart date (14 April 2020). Measures were instituted to address identified and anticipated challenges (connectivity and access; course-related and lecturer-associated issues).
We sought to determine student satisfaction and evaluate the administration of emergency remote learning during completion of Semester 2, 2019/2020 for quality assurance purposes. An online survey was developed using Microsoft Forms© with the following key items: Demographics (setting, MBBS programme year); Access (devices, internet access modality, challenges); Perception and rating of instruction, teaching, lecturers, and remote learning. Univariate analyses were used to summarise responses and open-ended responses categorised using thematic analyses.
Results showed that students were overall satisfied with content, communication, lecturer preparation, instructional material, and online learning activities during emergency remote administration. Students appreciated the utility of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra® combined with Zoom.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunity for innovation in administration of remote teaching and learning in the MBBS Programme. The agility of the FMS to adapt to this new situation is commendable. Further optimisation will require identification of at risk and disadvantaged students, increasing capacity among faculty for remote teaching and learning competencies and collaboration with key stakeholders.