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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 288-295

A nationwide online survey on comparative preference of face-to-face lecture, online synchronous, and asynchronous learning in indian undergraduate medical students

1 Department of Physiology, Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Raiganj, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Physiology, Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata - 700 014, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_158_20

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Background: During the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic, learning activity via the digital medium has suddenly increased. Medical teachers quickly adapted with synchronous (i.e., online classes), and asynchronous (i.e., video-and other materials-based learning) method of delivering the content to the students. Aim: We aimed to explore the comparative preference of face-to-face lecture, synchronous, and asynchronous learning among Indian undergraduate medical students. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional nation-wide online survey in July–August 2020 with a snowball sampling technique. We collected response from undergraduate medical students who had attended both online classes and video-and other materials-based learning. Preference on the three modes of learning (namely, face-to-face lecture, online synchronous, and asynchronous) was recorded in a 10 point Likert-type scale. Obtained responses were statistically compared by analysis of variance with a P < 0.05 to be statistically significant. Results: A total of 695 (female = 304 (43.74%), male = 391 (56.26%)) entries were analyzed. Overall, traditional face-to-face lecture class was the most preferred method (8.68 ± 1.49) followed by asynchronous (6.33 ± 2.22) learning and then online classes (5.22 ± 2.55, P < 0.0001). Perceived attention, interest, scope of learning, and possibility of interaction with the teachers were highest in face-to-face lecture. The scope of taking notes from all three modes was equal but the scope of formative assessment was highest with synchronous learning. The distraction was highest with asynchronous learning. Conclusion: Undergraduate medical students in India prefer to learn by face-to-face lecture while compared with distance delivery via the digital media. Postpandemic blended learning may be planned with the following sequence of importance: Face-to-face lecture >asynchronous >synchronous learning.

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