A cross-sectional study of perception among medical students on online learning amid COVID-19 pandemic, at Government Medical College, Agra, India

Kunver V. Singh, Khan I. Aqeel, S. K. Misra


Background: Online learning emerged as an alternative method in time of COVID-19 pandemic.  Zoom app, google app, LT software platform etc are helping to minimize the gaps in learning as a consequence of the current circumstances in which conventional teaching is being withheld. We conducted a study to find perception among medical undergraduate students of our college regarding effectiveness of online learning.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 600 medical undergraduate students of S.N. Medical College, Agra. A semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire was used and a total of 506 students responded. Data obtained was analyzed and inferences were drawn.

Results: We observed mixed perceptions having both favorable as well as unfavorable elements with their first and short experience of online learning. Majority of students found time flexibility (58.8%) and location flexibility (62%) in online learning as beneficial. While three-fourth (77.5%) missed interest created in collective learning. Majority also felt lack of concentration (59.7%), understanding (51.0%) and interaction (67.2%) with online learning. Around two-third of them reported technical malfunctioning and also pilling up of lesson material. Half of the student stated that home environment was not conducive for online learning. 71.2% wanted both online learning and conventional learning as future mode of learning after the end of pandemic. 28.3% recommended improvement in the online learning.

Conclusions: This study found mixed perceptions regarding online learning. This study also provided valuable inputs which can be utilized to improve effectiveness and quality of online medical education delivery in future.


Cross-sectional study, Medical students, Online learning, Pandemic, Perception

Full Text:



Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Weekly Epidemiological Update and Weekly Operational Update, 2020. Available from: Assessed on 16 September 2020.

Ahmed H, Allaf M, Elghazaly H. COVID-19 and medical education. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020 Mar 23.

Medical Council of India. Advisory regarding UG classes in view of COVID-19 epidemic. Medical Council of India. Published March 23, 2020. Available from: https:// getDocument?path=/Documents/Public/Portal/LatestNews/Advisory-COVID-19-ll%20colleges.pdf. Accessed on September 17, 2020.

Liaison Committee on Medical Education. COVID-19 updates and resources. (Updated March 25, 2020). Available from: Accessed on 17 September 2020.

Medical Schools Council. Information for medical students. Updated March 13, 2020. Available from: Accessed on 17 September 2020.

Prober CG, Heath C. Lecture halls without lectures-a proposal for medical education. N Engl J Med. 2012;366:1657-9.

Kaur N, Dwivedi D, Arora J, Gandhi A. Study of the effectiveness of e-learning to conventional teaching in medical undergraduates amid COVID-19 pandemic. National J Physiol Phar Pharmacol. 2020;10(7):0.

Theoret C, Ming X. Our Education, Our Concerns: Medical Student Education Impact due to COVID‐19. Medical Education. 2020 Apr 20.

Roberts DH, Newman LR, Schwartzstein RM. Twelve tips for facilitating Millennials’ learning. Medical teacher. 2012;34(4):274-8.

Petterson R. Distance education. In Learning. Sweden, Tulinge. 2019:54.

Daroedono E, Siagian FE, Alfarabi M, Cing JM, Arodes ES, Sirait RH, et al. The impact of COVID-19 on medical education: our students perception on the practice of long distance learning. Int J Comm Med Pub Heal. 2020;7:2790-6.

Bakia M. Costs of ICT use in higher education. TechKnowLogia, January-February. 2000:49-52.

Rajhans V, Memon U, Patil V, Goyal A. Impact of COVID-19 on academic activities and way forward in Indian Optometry. J Optom. 2020.

Bettinger EP, Fox L, Loeb S, Taylor ES. Virtual classrooms: How online college courses affect student success. Am Econ Rev. 2017;107:2855-75.

The comparison between the result of E-learning and traditional learning: a case study on reading IV subject at D-III in English language study program. Research paper. Airlangga: Airlangga University; 2006.

Vitoria L, Mislinawati M, Nurmasyitah N. Students’ perceptions on the implementation of e-learning: Helpful or unhelpful. J Physics. 2018:1088.

Ali NA. Students disappointed with online teaching system amid COVID-19, 2020. Available online: Accessed on 20 September 2020.

Bao W. COVID-19 and online teaching in higher education: A case study of Peking University. Hum Behav & Emerg Tech. 2020;1–3.

Hiij BE, Ting SQ, Heng WT, Kong YK, Pathy NB, Zaki RA. How medical students can respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. 21 April 2020. Available online: Accessed on 15 September 2020.

Abbasi S, Ayoob T, Malik A, Memon SI. Perceptions of students regarding E-learning during Covid-19 at a private medical college. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(COVID19-S4).