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Holzmann-Littig, Christopher; Zerban, Nina L.; Storm, Clara; Ulhaas, Lilian; Pfeiffer, Mona; Kotz, Alexander; Wijnen-Meijer, Marjo; Keil, Stephanie and Huber, Johanna (2022): One academic year under COVID-19 conditions: two multicenter cross-sectional evaluation studies among medical students in Bavarian medical schools, Germany students' needs, difficulties, and concerns about digital teaching and learning. In: BMC Medical Education, Vol. 22, No. 1, 450

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Background: Since March 2020, COVID-19 has created a need for adaptation in many areas of life. This study explores medical students' perspectives on digital teaching under conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on expectations and concerns about digital teaching, the evaluation of specific aspects of teaching, and requests for future teaching. Methods: Six German faculties have joined forces within the Bavarian network for medical education to develop and deploy a common core questionnaire. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted at the end of the summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21. Medical students from different semesters participated in the online survey. Data was analyzed descriptively and/or inferentially. Item differences across semesters were examined using contingency tables and Chi' tests. Mean values were compared using the independent samples t-test;answer frequencies in retrospective and prospective concerns were compared using contingency tables and Chi' tests with Yates' correction. Results: In the summer semester 2020, 1565 students and in winter semester 2020/21, 1727 students took part in the survey. Students' main prospective concern was lack of social exchange between fellow students (70%), but also with teachers. Second and third most often concerns were a lack of practical training (68%) and lack of integration of on-site digital teaching (50%). Approximately 7% of the students lacked sufficient access to technical equipment.. Approximately 39% of the students lacked a sufficient internet connection for synchronous digital teaching, 17% for asynchronous digital teaching. On-site teaching was the preferred form of teaching (60%), and there was a preference for asynchronous (24%) over synchronous (15%) digital teaching. Teaching recordings (79%) were particularly popular to complement future on-site teaching. Conclusions: The following areas of education under COVID-19 conditions are highly important to medical students: adequacy of information sharing, integration of opportunities for exchange with fellow students and teachers, possibility to perform practical trainings. After the normalization of the pandemic situation, on-site teaching should be supplemented with blended learning concepts such as the inverted classroom model.

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