Student Satisfaction and Self-Efficacy in a Novel Online Clinical Clerkship Curriculum Delivered During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Adv Med Educ Pract. 2022 Sep 10;13:1029-1038. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S374133. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to medical education and clinical training and resulted in stressors that impede student learning. This study aimed to assess student satisfaction and self-efficacy in a novel online clinical clerkship curriculum delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Fourth- and fifth-year medical students completed an online survey in January 2021 covering the following areas: student satisfaction, self-efficacy, and perceived effectiveness of online versus face-to-face learning.

Results: Just over half of students (51%) were satisfied with online clerkship delivery. However, fewer than half of students (46%) believed online learning effectively increased their knowledge, compared to 56% of students who believed face-to-face learning was effective. The perception of the effectiveness of online learning and face-to-face teaching for clinical skills was 18% and 89%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Few students perceived online teaching to be effective for developing social competencies (27%) compared to face-to-face instruction (67%) (p < 0.001). In addition, mean self-efficacy scores were higher for persons who perceived online teaching to be effective for increasing knowledge, improving clinical skills, and developing social competencies. Overall, students' perception of online learning was strongly associated with online self-efficacy.

Conclusion: Student satisfaction and perceived self-efficacy in online learning were higher than reported acceptance of online clerkship curriculum.

Keywords: clinical knowledge and skills; face-to-face learning; medical education; online curriculum; online learning; social competencies.