An Emergency Shift to e-Learning in Health Professions Education: A Comparative Study of Perspectives between Students and Instructors


  • Afrah Almuwais
  • Samiah Alqabbani
  • Nada Benajiba
  • Fatmah Almoayad


e-learning; COVID-19; health professions; Saudi Arabia


This is a cross-sectional study which assessed the readiness to shift to e-learning in correlation with perceived effectiveness and satisfaction following the sudden shift caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among students and instructors. The study compared perspectives between instructors (n = 47) and students (n = 254) at the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (CHRS) at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU; Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). Data were collected using an online questionnaire using convenient sampling method. The results showed a high level of readiness to shift to e-learning among instructors and students, as well as a positive correlation between perceived effectiveness and satisfaction. However, instructors showed a higher satisfaction level and perceived this shift to be effective more than students. This experience offers a reasonable foundation for any future plans to implement e-learning in health professions education and maximise its benefits without compromising the practical and clinical training provided via face-to-face learning. Further studies are needed to explore e-learning experiences a year after this shift, when educational institutions are expected to have clearer plans and have better prepared for e-learning. In addition, effect of e-learning shift on clinical training outcomes for different health professions is also recommended.


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