Online Learning in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

At the height of the COVID 19 outbreak, schools in Nigeria were closed and lectures were halted. With many expected obstacles, the capacity of the Nigerian educational environment to conduct online interactions may be stretched thin.

Objectives: To determine medical students’ and residents’ existing knowledge with and use of online classroom platforms, as well as the hurdles to their use in medical education.

Methods: A semi-structured online questionnaire was used in a descriptive comparative study design. A Google survey of 128 medical students and residents in training at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was conducted to analyse demographics, online learning tools availability, and implementation. Both groups were familiar with Google Classroom but used it infrequently, and they preferred mobile devices over computers. The ease of utilising Google classroom for interfacing or communicating between learners and facilitators was affected by Internet availability, Pearson correlation, 0.185, p = 0.037, but not by the availability of electric power, Pearson correlation, 0.135, p = 0.133.

Conclusions: Medical students and residents are generally well-versed in a variety of Google classroom LMS platforms. However, reliable electric power, internet access, and proficiency in creating multimedia presentations and uploading them for assessment may increase the usage of online learning platforms for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Nigeria. Learners must inspire facilitators by handing in assignments on time in order for online learning to continue without interruption.

Author(S) Details

I. E. Yarhere
University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

I. O. Obuzor
World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence for Public Health and Toxicological Research, Nigeria.

E. Fomsi
University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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