Medical students’ views on the distance education practices of the neuroanatomy course during the pandemic

Medical students’ views on the pandemic



Attitude scale, Anatomy, COVID-19, Pandemic


Background/Aim: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019. This highly contagious and pathogenic coronavirus causes acute respiratory disease pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). More than 1.2 billion students in 186 countries are currently affected by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational activities, including clinical medical education, were also stopped during the pandemic. To maintain the continuity of medical education, distance learning approaches were developed, including online/offline teaching methods. Within the scope of this training, the effect of distance learning on students’ experience of neuroanatomy teaching was investigated.

Methods: The study sample included 61 students who agreed to participate. The data of the students who accepted to participate in the study were obtained via a questionnaire form created using the “Attitude Scale towards Distance Education”. The questionnaire was uploaded to the forms section of the Microsoft Teams program, and the link address was sent to all students who took the Neuroanatomy course from the International Faculty of Medicine 2nd year students via e-mail.

Results: Most students (n = 44, [72.1%]) stated that they could access the internet without any problems, while others had problems. Some students (n = 10; 83.6%) had to share their remote connection devices with their family members during distance education. Some students (n = 9, [14.8%]) had to use mobile phones for homework and exams. Less than half of the students (n = 27, [44.3%]) responded that 3 h per week neuroanatomy teaching was sufficient; most (n = 34, [55.7%]) responded that this was insufficient (P < 0.01). Many of the students who took the distance learning neuroanatomy course (n = 27, [44.3%]) believe that the course has contributed to their professional development (P < 0.01). During distance education, active participation of the classmates – by turning on their microphones – increased the students’ motivation (n = 53, [88.3%]).

Conclusion There were difficulties in understanding the neuroanatomy lectures delivered by distance education. The Turkish students had greater problems in understanding relative to the international students, who were much more focused. Students will likely derive greater benefit from doing the neuroanatomy course face to face.


Download data is not yet available.


Nicomedes CJC, Avila RMA. An analysis on the panic during COVID-19 pandemic through an online form. J Affect Disord. 2020;276:14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.046. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 32697692. DOI:

Cardinal L, Kaell A. The role of medical education in the development of the scientific practice of medicine. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2017;7(1):58-60. doi:10.1080/20009666.2017.1286815. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 28634530. DOI:

Franchi T. The impact of the Covid‐19 pandemic on current anatomy education and future careers: A student’s perspective. Anatomical Sciences Education. 2020;13(3):312-5. DOI:

Estevez ME, Lindgren KA, Bergethon PR. A novel three-dimensional tool for teaching human neuroanatomy. Anat Sci Educ. 2010 Nov-Dec;3(6):309-17. doi: 10.1002/ase.186. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 20939033. DOI:

Hall S, Border S. Online Neuroanatomy Education and Its Role During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Lockdown. World Neurosurg. 2020;139:628. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.05.001. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 32426071. DOI:

Elmansouri A, Murray O, Hall S, Border S. TEL Methods Used for the Learning of Clinical Neuroanatomy. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2020;1260:43-73. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-47483-6_4. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 33211307. DOI:

Baczek M, Zaganczyk-Baczek M, Szpringer M, Jaroszynski A, Wozakowska-Kaplon B. Students’ perception of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey study of Polish medical students. 2021;100(7):e24821. doi: 10.1097/md.0000000000024821. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 00005792-202102190-00087. DOI:

Revell A, Wainwright E. What Makes Lectures ‘Unmissable’? Insights into Teaching Excellence and Active Learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 2009;33(2):209-23. doi: 10.1080/03098260802276771. DOI:

Ağır F. Uzaktan Eğitime Karşı Tutum Ölçeği Geliştirmeye Yönelik Geçerlilik Ve Güvenirlik Çalışması. Education Sciences. 2007;3(2):128-39.

Pelikan ER, Lüftenegger M, Holzer J, Korlat S, Spiel C, Schober B. Learning during COVID-19: the role of self-regulated learning, motivation, and procrastination for perceived competence. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. 2021;24(2):393-418. doi: 10.1007/s11618-021-01002-x. DOI:

Rapanta C, Botturi L, Goodyear P, Guàrdia L, Koole M. Online University Teaching During and After the Covid-19 Crisis: Refocusing Teacher Presence and Learning Activity. Postdigital Science and Education. 2020;2(3):923-45. doi: 10.1007/s42438-020-00155-y. DOI:

Mohamad SNM, Salleh MAM, Salam S. Factors affecting lecturers motivation in using online teaching tools. Procedia-Social Behavioral Sciences. 2015;195:1778-4. DOI:

Baran E. The transformation of online teaching practice: Tracing successful online teaching in higher education. Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 2011; Paper 12206..

Law KMY, Geng S, Li T. Student enrollment, motivation and learning performance in a blended learning environment: The mediating effects of social, teaching, and cognitive presence. Computers & Education. 2019;136:1-12. DOI:

Widjaja AE, Chen JV. Online Learners’ Motivation in Online Learning: The Effect of Online-Participation, Social Presence, and Collaboration. Learn Technol Educ Issues Trends. 2017:72-93.

Janse van Rensburg ES. Effective online teaching and learning practices for undergraduate health sciences students: An integrative review. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences. 2018;9:73-80. DOI:

Rohrbach S, Werner N, Ishizaki S, Miller J. Designing an engaging digital learning tool: A report on a motivation study and its impact on the design of an online learning tool. 2014 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC); 2014;1-5 p. DOI:

Vallée A, Blacher J, Cariou A, Sorbets E. Blended Learning Compared to Traditional Learning in Medical Education: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of medical Internet research. 2020 Aug 10;22(8):e16504. doi: 10.2196/16504. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 32773378. DOI:

Newman NA, Lattouf OM. Coalition for medical education—A call to action: A proposition to adapt clinical medical education to meet the needs of students and other healthcare learners during COVID‐19. Wiley Online Library; 2020. DOI:

Poelmann FB, Koëter T, Steinkamp PJ, Vriens MR, Verhoeven B, Kruijff S. The immediate impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on burn-out, work-engagement, and surgical training in the Netherlands. Surgery. 2021 Epub 2021/04/07. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.02.061. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 33820653. DOI:

Teele SA, Sindelar A, Brown D, Kane DA, Thatte N, Williams RJ, Gueverra J, Wolbrink TA. Online education in a hurry: Delivering pediatric graduate medical education during COVID-19. Progress in Pediatric Cardiology. 2021;60:101320. DOI:






Research Article

How to Cite

Yücel N, Keleş P, Yıldırım ME. Medical students’ views on the distance education practices of the neuroanatomy course during the pandemic : Medical students’ views on the pandemic. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 31 [cited 2024 Apr. 13];6(8):762-6. Available from: