Laith Thamer Al-Ameri, Ekhlas Khalid Hameed, Ahmed Abed Marzook, Raghad E. Naji, Mohanad Mundher, Yousif Abdulraheem
Electronic learning was used as a substitute method for learning during the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct scientific materials and perform student assessment; this study aimed to investigate academic staff opinions toward electronic education. A cross-sectional study with a web-based questionnaire distributed to academic staff in different medical colleges in Iraq. After de-identification, data were collected and analyzed with statistical software to determine the significance between variables. A total of 256 participants were enrolled in the study: 83% were not satisfied or neutral to online learning, 80% showed a poor benefit from delivery of the practical electronic knowledge and 25% for theoretical sessions with a significant difference. After the era of COVID-19, 75% of participants don’t recommend electronic learning for delivering practical knowledge, while only 45% don’t recommend it for delivering theoretical knowledge. Participants acknowledged the low genuine attendance, virtual lectures, and little student interest in scientific materials with a percent of 56% and 61% of participants respectively. They agreed that efficacy of daily student assessment and electronic exams were poor with 60.1% and 80% of participants’ opinions, respectively. 56% agreed the electronic assessment could not discover students cheating on the exam. The unplanned and rapid transition to electronic learning presented challenges at all academic levels. Not much information on the best practices was available to guide such transitions. The lack of social interaction, requirement for self-motivation, time management skills, the inaccessibility to others and the unavoidability of cheating and focusing on theory may all negatively impact the educational process.