Incorporating e-learning as a tool for medical education in India: Investigating student perspectives

Bijli Nanda, Manasi Bhattacharjee, Omna Chawla, Rajajeyakumar M, Raj Kapoor

Abstract


Aim: The undergraduate medical curriculum in India as designed by the medical council of India (MCI) currently does not include E-learning as part of its program. Although, students seem to be quite comfortable with the use of computers and internet, their perception about e-learning per se needs to be addressed. Moreover, before introduction of specific technology opinion of the user must be investigated. Hence, this study was designed with an aim to find out the Indian students perspectives regarding the incorporation of E- learning into the medical curriculum.
Materials and Methods: Undergraduate 1st and 2nd semester medical student volunteers were recruited for the study from 4 medical colleges from different regions of India after taking informed consent. Responses (based on a Likert scale of 1-5) were collected via a predesigned self-administered questionnaire. Positive attitudinal scores (PAS) were calculated using 7 variables. The results were analysed using SPSS
Results: A total of 775 responses were available for analysis. Median PAS was 24 indicating a positive attitude amongst students. 94.27% of students felt that E-learning should be incorporated into the curriculum. The most preferred mode of e-learning was videos (56.9%).With respect to internet usage, the majority of students (65%) opted for a web supplemented programme compared to fully online or web independent programmes.
Conclusion: Overall Indian medical undergraduate students seem comfortable with computer use and most students perceive E-learning as a helpful tool in their learning process. Most are willing to have it incorporated into the curriculum; hence we propose that E-learning should be formally introduced into the curriculum as soon as possible.

Keywords: E-learning, Undergraduate medical curriculum, Positive attitude


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