Digitalization plan in medical education during COVID-19 lockdown

Inform Med Unlocked. 2020;20:100432. doi: 10.1016/j.imu.2020.100432. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced the adoption of virtual learning after the urgent suspension of traditional teaching. Different online learning strategies were established to face this learning crisis. The present descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to reveal the different digital procedures implemented by the College of Medicine at Qassim University for better student performance and achievement.

Methods: The switch into distance-based learning was managed by the digitalization committee. Multiple online workshops were conducted to the staff and students about the value and procedures of such a shift. New procedures for online problem-based learning (PBL) sessions were designed. Students' satisfaction was recorded regarding the efficiency of live streaming educational activities and online assessment.

Results: The students were satisfied with the overall shift into this collaborative e-learning environment and the new successful procedures of virtual PBL sessions. The digital learning tools facilitated the performance of the students and their peer sharing of knowledge. The role of informatics computer technologies was evident in promoting the students, research skills, and technical competencies.

Conclusions: The present work elaborated on the procedures and privileges of the transformation into digitalized learning, particularly the PBL sessions, which were appreciated by the students and staff. It recommended the adoption of future online theoretical courses as well as the development of informatics computer technologies.

Keywords: Digitalization; Medical education; Online PBL; Virtual classroom; e-learning.