As the new tutorial 12 months for university education and learning in Japan starts off in April, each individual college designed a swift changeover to on line classes to put together for the new semester in 2020. As Oita University had now been working with LMS, Moodle, the setup of on-line courses proceeded somewhat efficiently. In addition, below the supervision of the university’s Education Management Office environment, Zoom was speedily released into the education method, and teaching periods were held for college and employees. Complex and economical assist offered to college students was also strengthened. Nonetheless, a number of pupils experienced issues in accessing the world wide web, therefore necessitating even more advancement in the online connectivity in the campus and at property.
The content and curriculum quantity of on the net classes were being similar as all those of in-person lessons, and it was ensured that the excellent of schooling was not compromised. In the cardiovascular program, PBL was executed on line in 2021 and 2022, with modest-team discussions and shows, which have been executed with no any unique inconvenience as opposed with encounter-to-confront classes. Quizzes were administered on Moodle in all courses for the initially time in 2021, which also served as a way to history class attendance. This method was ongoing in 2022 even when the courses were carried out in-particular person.
In the cardiovascular study course, video training supplies are extensively utilized in the lectures, specifically for teaching echocardiography, coronary angiography, cardiac operation, catheter-based mostly cure processes, and cardiac rehabilitation. Active learning training solutions these as movie elements, PBL, and quizzes can be applied in on-line courses and in encounter-to-face lessons. On top of that, the use of LMS permits students to perspective lecture supplies all over again and review quizzes, therefore increasing the finding out effectiveness of on-line courses. When compared with lessons done in massive classrooms, on the internet classes presented opportunities for learners to focus on the lectures in a silent setting at house. As obvious in the results of the course analysis questionnaire, the college students had been highly content with online classes (Fig. 1).
The effectiveness in the composed evaluation executed in 2020 and 2021, i.e., when lessons were being executed on line, was the identical as that in examinations conducted in 2018 and 2019, i.e., when courses had been conducted in-individual. The general performance in the penned examination drastically greater in 2021 (Desk 2). This enhance was attributed to the administration of quizzes regardless of the course structure (encounter-to-face or on the net) and PBL (Desk 3). The location up and evaluation of quizzes on the LMS was not time consuming for the instructors, and we intend to continue on this practice in the upcoming.
The COVID-19 pandemic pressured professional medical universities all over the world to remodel their training techniques, and the knowledge of this transformation has been analyzed by various researchers [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14]. Chinese clinical schools released 12 tips that made available unique strategies to enhance training clinical learners online . One particular of the 12 guidelines emphasizes the will need to “promote social understanding by way of use of on-line compact-team finding out approaches and equipment.” We also carried out on the net PBL, together with little-group discussions and shows, which probably served advertise social learning. Studies on the use of on-line lessons from other international locations have been extremely informative, and we hope to utilize the noted learnings to improve clinical education and learning even after the pandemic.
Whilst on the web applications were being commonly properly approved by healthcare college students, studies have demonstrated different stages of scholar fulfillment with on the web education [2, 9, 10, 12]. Kim et al.  documented that 62.2% pupils most well-liked the on the net system above the offline study course and 84.3% pupils wished to continue on taking on the internet programs just after the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Motte-Signoret et al.  documented that < 50% students felt that they received training of equivalent level and quality to that provided in their regular courses and only one-third of the included students preferred the continuation of online courses after the pandemic.
The lack of opportunities for students to interact with their peers and teachers was considered the disadvantages of online classes [1, 3, 14]. Considering that learning occurs through knowledge sharing and student interaction among their peers, attention should be paid to promote online interaction and timely feedback from teachers. In our course evaluation questionnaires, some students mentioned that they found it difficult to ask questions during online classes. Therefore, we encouraged students to use the discussion forum of Moodle, where many questions were posted by the students that allowed effective discussions between faculty and students.
Although this study evaluated the effectiveness of online education in imparting theoretical medical knowledge in junior students, medical universities must implement educational systems and methods for evaluating students’ skills and attitudes to facilitate their medical training. The acquisition of medical skills and development of attitudes are cultivated by practicing them in actual clinical clerkships. A survey from the United States  showed that final-year medical students did not find tele-education and e-learning as effective as face-to-face in-hospital clerkships. In our university, clinical clerkship is conducted for the 4th–6th-year students. Although clinical clerkships were cancelled for the first 4 weeks of the 2020 academic year in our university, the faculty ensured that our students practiced clerkships as much as possible under strict infection control regulations. As a result, we believe that the students could acquire practical skills that are not inferior to those who underwent clerkships before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our study has some limitations. First, as this study included only third-year medical students who took a cardiovascular course, the effects of online education in other courses and other grades remain unknown. Second, since almost same faculty members prepared the examination question paper each year, the difficulty level of the examination for each year was considered equivalent however, we cannot overlook the possibility of year-to-year variations in examination difficulty. The use of a standardized nationwide examination such as a computer-based test would have provided a more accurate comparison. Finally, as the online accessibility of lectures increased, student classroom attendance may have impacted their outcomes. However, considering that this course is mandatory, students were required to attend at least two-thirds of the classes to be eligible to take the examination. Therefore, student attendance was comparable, which was more than 80% in both online and face-to-face classes.
In conclusion, online classes in medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic were as successful as face-to-face classes owing to the use of the LMS and other innovations, such as online quizzes. The pandemic necessitated online education and provided an opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of medical education. When combined with face-to-face learning, online education may positively impact the education system even after the COVID-19 pandemic.