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

Publication Type : Journal Article

Authors : Dr. Unnikrishnan K. Menon, Dr. Suja Gopalakrishnan, Dr. Sumithra N. Unni, Dr. Riju R. Menon, Dr. Poornima B., Dr. Anu Sasidharan, Dr. Ashika M.S., Dr. Natasha Radhakrishnan

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Campus : Kochi

School : School of Medicine

Department : Department of Medical Education, Medical Education

Year : 2021

Abstract : 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. Keywords: Content validity; online learning; pilot study; questionnaire; sample size; undergraduate students.

Cite this Research Publication : Unnikrishnan K. Menon, Suja Gopalakrishnan, C. Sumithra N. Unni, Riju Ramachandran, B. Poornima, Anu Sasidharan, M. S. Ashika, Natasha Radhakrishnan, Pilot of a questionnaire study regarding perception of undergraduate medical students towards online classes: Process and perspectives. J Family Med Prim Care 2021; 10: 2016-2021,DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2141_20

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