RE-AIMing COVID-19 online learning for medical students: a massive open online course evaluation

Yilmaz Y., SARIKAYA Ö., ŞENOL Y., BAYKAN Z., KARACA O., Demiral Yilmaz N., ...More

BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION, vol.21, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12909-021-02751-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Massive open online course, Low, and middle-income countries, Online learning, Medical student, HEALTH PROGRAMS, FRAMEWORK, KNOWLEDGE, IMPACT
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Background Clinical training during the COVID-19 pandemic is high risk for medical students. Medical schools in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have limited capacity to develop resources in the face of rapidly developing health emergencies. Here, a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed as a COVID-19 resource for medical students working in these settings, and its effectiveness was evaluated. Methods The RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) framework was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of MOOC in teaching medical students about COVID-19. The data sources included the student registration forms, metrics quantifying their interactions within the modules, students' course feedback, and free-text responses. The data were collected from the Moodle learning management system and Google analytics from May 9 to September 15, 2020. The research team analyzed the quantitative data descriptively and the qualitative data thematically. Results Among the 16,237 unique visitors who accessed the course, only 6031 medical students from 71 medical schools registered, and about 4993 (83% of registrants) completed the course, indicating high levels of satisfaction (M = 8.17, SD = 1.49) on a 10-point scale. The mean scores of each assessment modules were > 90%. The free-text responses from 987 unique students revealed a total of 17 themes (e.g., knowing the general information on COVID-19, process management of the pandemic in public health, online platform use, and instructional design) across the elements of the RE-AIM framework. Mainly, the students characterized the MOOC as well-organized and effective. Conclusions Medical students learned about COVID-19 using a self-paced and unmonitored MOOC. MOOCs could play a vital role in the dissemination of accurate information to medical students in LMIC in future public health emergencies. The students were interested in using similar MOOCs in the future.