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Mohammed H. Abdulla, Elizabeth Brint and Mark G. Rae
Journal of Education
Teaching physiology to medical students in the COVID-19 era with synchronous formative assessments utilising simultaneous, combined Zoom and Socrative platforms
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Background: The continuing COVID-19 crisis of 2020 demanded a sudden and massive shift within academia from face-to-face learning to online and remote learning for both teaching and assessment. Methods: Herein, we describe our own experience of this transition and, more specifically, of using the web-based Zoom video conferencing platform in conjunction with the cloud-based student response system, Socrative, to deliver synchronous physiology formative assessments/tutorials to first-year medical students. Results: Of the 65% (n=55) of students in the class that responded to an end of module survey on the assessments, 96% (53 students) indicated that they had joined at least one of the four Zoom/Socrative quiz sessions, with 65% attending all four. The vast majority of respondents (82%) indicated that the sessions were effective in facilitating their learning. Based upon comments submitted for the survey, students liked the Zoom/Socrative assessments primarily because they provided an efficient and uncomplicated way of both communicating remotely, but still ‘face-to-face’, with their instructors, and allowed them to assess their knowledge of asynchronously-delivered, pre-recorded physiology material. Conclusions: In summary, this study presents a feasible means of delivering real-time, synchronous physiology teaching and assessment in this era of enforced social distancing and remote learning.
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