• K. M. Skoropad Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, Department of General Practice (Family Medicine), Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9569-5882
Ключові слова: distance learning, educational platforms, medical education


 COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in all areas of human activity, and they have not escaped the education system. One of the new and most highly effective and, especially relevant, areas of improvement in the educational process of higher education is the use of distance learning.

The aim of the research: to analyze the opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of using distance learning at a medical university.

Distance learning is a form of learning with the use of computer and telecommunication technologies, which provide interaction of teachers and students at different stages of learning and independent work with materials from the information network. There are a number of platforms and applications as tools for effective, interesting and interactive learning: Moodle, Google Classroom, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, WebEx, MyOwnConference, Microsoft Teams.

Distance learning includes a set of the following components: providing educational material to the student; means of monitoring student performance; student consultations by the program-teacher; means of interactive cooperation between teacher and student; the ability to quickly add new information to the course, error correction.

Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University uses Microsoft Teams as a tool for distance learning. Microsoft Teams is a state-of-the-art real-time video conferencing tool that integrates all Office 365 tools, gathers up to 300 participants, and holds meetings lasting up to 24 hours. Also, this service includes communication in general chat and personal messages, shared access to educational materials in various formats, access to the cloud environment, control of the level of knowledge can be carried out in the form of an oral interview and with the use of test tasks, sending files, it is possible to record video conferences, screen demonstrations, presentations, web pages, use the board.

Distance learning has a number of advantages such as: flexibility, relevance, convenience, modularity, cost-effectiveness and the ability to simultaneously use a large amount of educational information for any number of students, interactivity, removing psychological barriers to communication, blurring borders, no direct contact between people, which allows to actively learn even during illness or self-isolation. However, despite these advantages, we should not forget about the disadvantages. Distance education requires a certain level of hardware and software. No matter how accessible computer distance education may seem, it requires the learner to have a computer and Internet access, which not everyone has. These also include: the need for a certain level of hardware and software, depersonalization of communication, negative impact on students' health, problems with mastering practical skills, lack of direct communication with patients, inability to participate in professors wardrounds, supervise patients. As for carrying out diagnostic procedures using special devices and tools, it is an indisputable fact: you can watch videos about a certain manipulation many times, you may perfect know the algorithm of its performance, but without ever trying to do it yourself, it is impossible to master this manipulation.

Studying at a medical university has its own specifics, so distance learning cannot completely replace the traditional educational process and prepare future doctors for further practice.

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