E-learning in pathology courses in the times of COVID-19

El e-learning en los cursos de Patología en los tiempos de COVID-19


Distance learning (DL) is a promising educational approach for teaching medical courses. Our Pathology College was faced with the difficulty of a complete online transition of the classes because of the public health measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective is to evaluate this teaching method of the Pathology College with reference to the learner's point of view.


After attending DL sessions in the Pathology College, pathology residents completed the questionnaire using Google Forms. Twenty-six out of 33 initially enrolled in the pathology course returned fully filled out, valid questionnaires.


Twenty-four residents (92.3%) had already an E-learning experience. Almost 70% of participants were satisfied with their DL experience. Thirty percent of the participants thought that DL should replace face-to-face courses. Technical difficulties were encountered in 42% of cases with the most common one related to internet connection (66.7%). Interaction with teachers during DL courses was considered more difficult than face-to-face courses by 61.5% of participants. Participants found that learning via the virtual slide websites was better than learning in the histology workshop in 53.8% of cases. The main weaknesses of DL were the dependence on technical means (42.3%), the lack of interactivity with colleagues (26.9%) and teachers (26.9%).


Pathology lessons were successfully taught via DL, which was highly embraced by the students. Our findings shed light on a variety of areas of the students' DL experiences, and we strongly urge the faculty to take the students' opinions into account when formulating guidelines for higher-quality medical education.

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