Medical students’ perception regarding distance learning during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Background and purpose
The general confinement, during the epidemic of Covid-19 imposed many changes for an adaptation that guaranteed the continuity of services. Indeed, distance learning was the solution to ensure pedagogical continuity for students. It is in this context that this work was conducted in order to describe the perceptions of students of the FMSo regarding distance learning during confinement.
A cross-sectional study was conducted during April 2020 among FMSo students. Data were collected using an online questionnaire published on the platform of the FMSo. Perceived student stress level and other variables were assessed using a scale of 0 to 10. Perceived social support was assessed using the 10-item Social Provisions Scale (SPS-10).
Of the 1554 registered students, 533 participated to the study (Participation Rate = 34.3%). Among the respondents, 61.7% felt that their distance learning conditions during lockdown were not suitable. Among the respondents, 10.7% reported having problems related to Information Technology equipment and for 16.5% the performance of internet connection was poor, limiting access to the platform. During their distance learning activities, communication with teachers was done via the platform’s forums (40.80%). The follow-up of the distance learning by the teachers was considered perfectly to moderately optimal by 56.4% of the respondents. Satisfaction with the resources available to ensure pedagogical continuity was judged moderately to extremely satisfactory by 38.7% of students. The mean of the perceived student stress level was 6 ± 2.4. This stress was significantly associated with perceived unsuitable distance learning conditions and satisfaction with educational continuity resources (p<10-3). The mean of SPS-10 was 19.1 ± 6.3.
This study showed some difficulties and shortcomings perceived by the students regarding distance learning. Appropriate corrective measures were taken involving the efforts of the administration and teachers staff and the students.