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
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.
Keywords: COVID-19, Massive open online course, Low- and middle-income countries, Online learning, Medical