FEATURES OF DISTANCE LEARNING FOR FOREIGN MEDICAL STUDENTS DURING QUARANTINE
Today’s conditions have forced us to change our views regarding the distance learning especially in Medical schools. During the pandemic, due to quarantine we are trying hard to extract all the benefits of this method of study, so that the students can continue their education without a gap year. Furthermore, even the students have an amazing opportunity to explore this method and gain the necessary knowledge and skills alike. Foreign students can relate more with the number of problems pertaining to pandemic in contrast to our (Ukrainian) students.
There were several factors that they had to consider, the immense stress of being away from their families not only caused problems for them emotionally but it was also a hard task to evaluate the flight dates since the length of the quarantine period is dubious. The most positive factor during this harsh time was undoubtedly the support from their teachers. The situation during the summer holidays was stable and a vast majority of students were able to visit their families and at the same time return for the academic year. As most of the academic year of 2020-2021 was online, the foreign students were able to study from their corresponding home countries.
There is a combined use of the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University’s site platform and Microsoft Teams to ensure a full-fledged educational process at IFNMU pertaining to the period of distance learning. Teachers and students were quick to familiarize themselves with the basics of this program, online classes were conducted strictly according to the schedule, the guidelines and instructions provided and in accordance with the calendar thematic plan. The classrooms were held in compliance with all the norms, almost completely resembling the offline classes.
The use of multimedia presentations during the practical lesson was a positive experience for us. Thanks to which high quality visualizations, namely demonstration of macro- and micro preparations, short informative videos, in-depth analysis of thematic clinical cases, were possible. This allows students to acquire the necessary practical skills needed to study and interpret the identified pathological process. In turn the teacher can also quickly and effectively analyze the promptness and knowledge of the student, enabling them to differentiate if the student learned only superficially or prepared with a deep understanding of the topic.
The COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to look at the comprehensive side of e-learning technologies and look at it from a different perspective. Not only that we have numerous opportunities to elicit variety of innovative digital developments whose application and implementation will expand opportunities and improve the provision of educational services not only for students but also teachers.
- In certain situations (in this case the pandemic) distance learning is essential even in Medical Universities.
- Foreign students quickly acclimated to the online form of education which enabled them to stay with their families during the pandemic and stay as safe as possible, while avoiding learning gaps.
- Higher educational institutions should always be ready to cope up with changes and to tackle the unforeseen situations, keeping up with the technical progress plus support the development of innovative technologies.
- In future it is vital to use the positive features of distance learning and include them in the classical system of education.
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