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JMIR Med Inform ; 9(3): e24497, 2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158312


BACKGROUND: Histology and Embryology and Pathology are two important basic medical morphology courses for studying human histological structures under healthy and pathological conditions, respectively. There is a natural succession between the two courses. At the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly swept the world. During this unusual period, to ensure that medical students would understand and master basic medical knowledge and to lay a solid foundation for future medical bridge courses and professional courses, a web-based medical morphology teaching team, mainly including teachers of courses in Histology and Embryology and Pathology, was established. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore a new teaching mode of Histology and Embryology and Pathology courses during the COVID-19 pandemic and to illustrate its feasibility and acceptability. METHODS: From March to July 2020, our team selected clinical medicine undergraduate students who started their studies in 2018 and 2019 as recipients of web-based teaching. Meanwhile, nursing undergraduate students who started their studies in 2019 and 2020 were selected for traditional offline teaching as the control group. For the web-based teaching, our team used the Xuexi Tong platform as the major platform to realize a new "seven-in-one" teaching method (ie, videos, materials, chapter tests, interactions, homework, live broadcasts, and case analysis/discussion). This new teaching mode involved diverse web-based teaching methods and contents, including flipped classroom, screen-to-screen experimental teaching, a drawing competition, and a writing activity on the theme of "What I Know About COVID-19." When the teaching was about to end, a questionnaire was administered to obtain feedback regarding the teaching performance. In the meantime, the final written pathology examination results of the web-based teaching and traditional offline teaching groups were compared to examine the mastery of knowledge of the students. RESULTS: Using the Xuexi Tong platform as the major platform to conduct "seven-in-one" teaching is feasible and acceptable. With regard to the teaching performance of this new web-based teaching mode, students demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction, and the questionnaire showed that 71.3% or more of the students in different groups reported a greater degree of satisfaction or being very satisfied. In fact, more students achieved high scores (90-100) in the web-based learning group than in the offline learning control group (P=.02). Especially, the number of students with objective scores >60 in the web-based learning group was greater than that in the offline learning control group (P=.045). CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the web-based teaching mode was not inferior to the traditional offline teaching mode for medical morphology courses, proving the feasibility and acceptability of web-based teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings lay a solid theoretical foundation for follow-up studies of medical students.