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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 432-438

Assessing the sudden shift from classroom to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Students' perspective

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Himachal Dental College, Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Institute of Dental Sciences (IDS), Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
5 MDS, Oral Medicine and Radiology, Private Practitioner and General Consultant, Greater Noida, India
6 Consultant Dental Surgeon, Kathmandu, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Swati Sharma
Department of Public Health Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_189_21

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Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has led all educational institutions to temporarily close and provide online learning to their students. Aim: This study aims to assess students' perspectives of such a “sudden shift” from classroom-based teaching methodologies to the use of online platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed among students across the globe using a combination of convenience and snowball sampling. The questionnaire was pretested, prevalidated, and contained 24 close ended and one open-ended question (s) divided into 4 sections. Data obtained were transferred to SPSS version 21.0 and on applying the Shapiro–Wilk test, data were found to be parametric. Therefore, the independent samples t-test and multivariate linear regression were applied to analyze the data keeping P value significant at ≤0.5. Results: Of the total of 715 responses received, most students belonged to India (35.2%) followed by Saudi Arabia (14.5%). Majority of them belonged to the dental background (30.2%) followed by medical (16.1%) and architecture (12.9%). 50.1% used their cellular data to access the Internet and 59.2% of students preferred using a mobile phone. 44.8% of students reported technical issues (P = 0.01), resulting in only 33.4% of the students being able to understand the entire lecture/activity completely (P = 0.01). 58.7% of the students did not prefer online learning (P = 0.03). Linear regression revealed a significant preference for offline learning between students pursuing all levels of education. Conclusions: Although students preferred offline learning, universities are encouraged to sensitize their students to online learning techniques so that they are prepared to “suddenly shift” to online learning due to a variety of reasons (pandemics, natural disasters, and chronic illness).

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