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How has medical student learning changed with the pivot to online delivery of ophthalmology in the pandemic?

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Purpose: This study aimed to measure stakeholder satisfaction with our usual delivery format, which previously relied on a blend of didactic lectures and clinical skills sessions compared to a revised format, which had more emphasis on online learning. We hypothesised that the online flipped classroom (OFC) would facilitate delivery of content in the wake of the pandemic, and result in improved levels of student satisfaction and knowledge gain.

Design: Non randomised intervention study. Group 1 = Traditional delivery (TD) and Group 2 = OFC group.

Methods: A validated course evaluation questionnaire (CEQ) compared perspectives of teaching faculty (n = 5) and students with the traditional delivery (TD) of the 4th year ophthalmology clinical attachment and an OFC approach (TD n = 129 v OFC n = 114).

Results: The OFC group (n = 114; response rate = 24.6%) reported significantly reduced satisfaction with staff motivation of students and provision of feedback, compared to TD (n = 129; response rate = 17.8%). OFC students also felt it was harder to determine what standard of work was expected and found the course less beneficial at helping develop problem-solving skills. Students were dissatisfied with the level of choice afforded by the OFC, specifically how they would learn and assessment options. No significant difference in exam score was observed between the TD and OFC groups. For faculty (n = 5), there was no evidence of a difference between OFC and TD.

Conclusions: Students indicated a preference for the TD compared to the OFC approach. However, both delivery approaches led to comparable student performances as determined by MCQ examination.

Funding

Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH)

Health Professions Education Centre (HPEC), RCSI, University of Medicine and Health Sciences

History

Comments

The original article is available at https://journals.plos.org/

Published Citation

Ní Gabhann-Dromgoole J, Murphy CC, Boland F, Doyle AJ, Pawlikowska T. How has medical student learning changed with the pivot to online delivery of ophthalmology in the pandemic? PLoS One. 2023;18(3):e0282829.

Publication Date

30 March 2023

PubMed ID

36996136

Department/Unit

  • Data Science Centre
  • Health Professions Education Centre
  • Ophthalmology
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
  • SIM Centre for Simulation Education and Research

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Version

  • Published Version (Version of Record)