COVID-19 and E-learning: Perception of Freshmen Level Physics Students at Lusaka Apex Medical University
Ryan Chola, Phebby Kasimba, Rini George, Rekha Rajan
Objective: The study focused on assessing Physics students’ perceptions towards E-learning amidst COVID -19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: This study used a Cross-Sectional design through an online survey and was conducted at the Lusaka Apex Medical University. A sample size of 210 students was purposively sampled and a questionnaire was used to collect data. Microsoft Excel 2013 was used to analyze the data and descriptive statistics was used to report frequencies and proportions of responses on the level of knowledge of learners towards E-learning, E-learning experiences of the students and pros and cons of E–learning. Results: The study reported that 97.9% of the students were aware of E-learning and only 2.1% did not have an idea about it. Most of the students had a positive E-learning perception with few barriers such as gender, internet access and domestic activities. The students perceived E-learning to be convenient for lessons, ease submission of assignments and readily available online learning resources. On the other hand, students were not in favor of online laboratory and tutorial lessons. Additionally, social isolation and financial constraints during the pandemic had a negative impact on students’ E-learning experience. Conclusion: The study concluded that E-learning is possible provided that investment in internet infrastructure and training of instructors and students on its usage is done robustly. Future research is required to ascertain the actual factors that make gender a disadvantage when it comes to E-learning experiences as suggested by the minority of the students. In addition, similar studies can be conducted in other disciplines and Universities to validate the findings of this study.