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

Yılmaz Y., Sarıkaya Ö., Şenol Y., Baykan Z., Karaca O., Demiral Yılmaz N., ...More

Bmc Medical Education, vol.21, no.303, pp.1-14, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 303
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12909-021-02751-3
  • Title of Journal : Bmc Medical Education
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-14



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