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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 151-156

Virtual and traditional learning in undergraduate radiology education: A cross-sectional comparative study from Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Radiology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Aliaa H Ghoneim
Department of Radiology, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box: 80205, Jeddah 21 89
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_619_21

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Background: The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) resulted in disruption in the traditional teaching methods and lead to a wider adoption of virtual teaching. However, there is a lack of comparative studies regarding the use of either or the mixed mode for teaching radiology to undergraduate students. Objective: This study aimed to determine the barriers, performance, and overall satisfaction of undergraduate medical students and instructors undertaking virtual and traditional radiology learning across Saudi Arabia. Methodology: This cross-sectional questionnaire study included undergraduate students and instructors from across Saudi Arabia who had undertaken radiology either traditionally, through E-learning, or both in the 2019-20 academic year. The questionnaire elicited information regarding attendance, teaching methods, difficulties, knowledge acquisition, and satisfaction. Association between variables was assessed using Chi-square, in addition to a univariate analysis. Results: A total of 404 undergraduate students from 28 universities of Saudi Arabia responded, in addition to 20 instructors. Students preferred E-learning for the quality of the course and the time and effort spent as well as obtained higher grades than those in traditional learning. Traditional education was favored over E-learning for clarity of instructors' voice, ease of understanding image description by the instructor, and lack of technical barriers such as poor Internet connection. The form of education was significantly correlated with grades obtained (P < 0.001) but not with overall satisfaction (P = 0.067). The majority of the instructors (60%) considered E-learning to be helpful in balancing their workload and teaching responsibilities (P = 0.029) and would recommend it as a standard teaching method for radiology (85%). Conclusion: E-learning has potential advantages over traditional learning for teaching radiology to undergraduate medical students. However, further optimization is required to overcome the current deficiencies of this mode.

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