Pre-clerkship students' perception and learning behavior of online classes during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Korean J Med Educ. 2021 Jun;33(2):125-131. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2021.194. Epub 2021 May 26.


Purpose: This study aims to analyze pre-clerkship medical students' learning strategies and perceptions in online classes during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Methods: To develop the survey items, 20 pre-clerkship students were interviewed about their learning experiences in the first semester of 2020. A total of 425 pre-clerkship students have participated in the survey, which comprised four parts (general experience, learning strategies, important features, and overall satisfaction).

Results: Before classes began, students generally had "neutral expectations" about online classes (2.90 out of 5). At the end of the semester, overall satisfaction with the curriculum was moderate (3.04 out of 5). Premedical students reported lower scores in "daily study hours" and "regular lifestyle" and higher scores in "experience of playing recorded lectures solely for an attendance check" (p<0.001). In addition, first-year premedical students not only showed significantly lower utilization of learning strategies compared to other grades (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Although pre-clerkship students mostly shared similar perceptions and behaviors in their learning regardless of grade level, some characteristics were either more prominent in premedical students on the whole or limited to first-year premedical students.

Keywords: COVID-19; Online education; Online learning; Pre-clerkship students; Undergraduate medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • COVID-19*
  • Clinical Clerkship
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Distance*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Pandemics*
  • Perception
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult