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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 2016-2021

Pilot of a questionnaire study regarding perception of undergraduate medical students towards online classes: Process and perspectives


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
2 Department of Physiology, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
4 Department of General Surgery, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
5 Department of Microbiology, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
6 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India
7 Department of Ophthalmology, All are Faculty of the Medical Education Department (MEU) of Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Unnikrishnan K Menon
F2, Pananjickal Arcade, BMRA64, Edappally, Kochi - 682 024, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2141_20

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced a shift in medical education from physical classroom to virtual online teaching. However, students and teachers perceive this differently. It is important to study these perceptions to improve the teaching–learning process, and thus to validate the role of online learning in the country. Objective: To document the process of a pilot for a questionnaire-based study regarding perception of undergraduate medical students towards on-going online classes. Methods: Medical Education Department of a teaching hospital developed a new questionnaire with the primary objective of studying the satisfaction and usefulness of the online classes (e-Learning). Content validity was done. For the pilot work, 10% of the total student strength was targeted. Random purposive sampling from each phase of the undergraduate course was done to choose the participants. The questionnaire was administered via Google Classroom. It was an external, undeclared type of pilot. All the responses were documented and analysed for both changes in the questions as well as for statistical sample size derivation for the main study. Results: Responses from 30 students were analysed for the pilot study. Based on the proportion of the level of satisfaction (23.3%) and usefulness (23.3%) of the on-going online classes observed, and with 20% relative precision and 95% confidence, the minimum sample size for the main study was calculated. The responses revealed the need for minor changes in the questionnaire tool for overall feasibility and achievement of the objectives of the main study. Conclusions: A pilot study is a necessary component for a research project, especially when it involves the use of a new tool. This paper shows the relevance of the same. The authors intend to convey the importance of documenting the processes of conduct of a pilot study, the issues involved therein, and the steps taken to resolve the same.


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