Persistence and Academic Performance of Medical Students in Online Learning Environment During the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown

Mohsin M Syed, Noor Akhter, Mohamed Mostafa Ibrahim, Laura C Stanley


Government response to the COVID 19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 came as a wave of physical closures requiring sudden change in the method of instruction from face-to-face to a completely online. Assessment of students adaptation to this change during emergency lockdown is the focus of this study. We used a One-way ANOVA to compare pandemic and pre-pandemic Performance of First Year medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the brain and behavior module. Students’ test scores related to perception of persistence levels was studied using correlation analysis. In addition, a regression analysis was performed to examine prediction factors of medical student course grades during COVID-19. Students’ grades in the module during the COVID-19 were significantly higher compared to the grades in recent prior years at the p<.001 level [F (3, 692) = 9.08].  Pearson product-moment correlation results showed a strong and positive correlation between students’ persistence level (M = 3.46, SD = .997, n = 79), and their module grade during COVID-19 (M = 258.777, SD = 14.6878, n = 79), r = .33, p = < .01. The multiple linear regression analysis accounts for 14% of the variance in students’ module grades and the variance was statistically significant at p < .05. As such, we conclude that students’ persistence to adjust to a new learning environment coupled with module directors and faculty successfully employing remote education methods, met the learning challenges during the pandemic and students maintained a high level of academic success.

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