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ISSN: 2455-5479
Archives of Community Medicine and Public Health
Mini Review       Open Access      Peer-Reviewed

Higher education and COVID-19: An overview of the most important challenges

Mahdieh Motie, Seyed Meysam Mousavi2, Zahra Sarabandi3, Reza Dehnavieh4 and Khalil Kalavani5*

1MSc, Student in Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Management and Leadership in medical Education Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3MSc of Healthcare Management, Management and Leadership in medical Education Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4Associate Professor of Health Services Management, Head of Innovation Center, Institute for Future Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
5PhD, Student in Health Services Management, Faculty of Healthcare Management, Student Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
*Corresponding author: Khalil Kalavani, PhD, Student in Health Services Management, Faculty of Healthcare Management, Student Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, Tel: +989373259329; E-mail: k.kalavani@kmu.ac.ir
Received: 11 January, 2021 | Accepted: 25 January, 2021 | Published: 27 January, 2021
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Asymptomatic infections; Epidemiological characteristic

Cite this as

Turabian JL (2021) Higher education and COVID-19: An overview of the most important challenges. Arch Community Med Public Health 7(1): 021-022. DOI: 10.17352/2455-5479.000128

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions in face-to-face learning, and the use of distance learning has affected all students and teachers [1]. There are a few quantitative studies conducted on the consequences of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on indoors environments such as university. In indoors environments with low ventilation, the virus has the capacity to linger for longer before being inhaled or falling to a surface, which could result in transmission. In enclosed environments, low humidity, air conditioning, and low UV light may all contribute to longer survival of viral particles. Finally, indoor environments may increase host susceptibility. For these reasons, the risk of virus transmission is higher in indoor spaces such as the university [2]. Also, the epidemic has caused all students to encounter rapid and numerous changes. On the other hand, students are looking for their academic and career progress. Although the changes caused by COVID-19 in the field of education may seem minor compared to other changes, they can make a turning point in the academic progress of students [3,4]. Therefore, students need to be prepared for the challenges of the new situation. Given that there is not much information on the challenges and long-term effects of COVID-19 in medical education [5,6], it seems necessary to examine the challenges and effects. This article addressed the most important challenges in the field of education during COVID-19:

1. Currently, there are no comprehensive quality assurance systems for online teaching and learning.

2. Online education causes a small number of students to attend the meeting and unlike face-to-face meetings, students rarely speak; the sessions are teacher-centered and the teacher mainly presents the contents using the PowerPoint.

3. A serious challenge that medical students are facing is the cancellation of internships that is necessary both to gain skills and to build relationships.

4. Simulation may be used in the short term, but in the long run, students’ academic needs and experiences will face a serious challenge.

5. The opportunity to attend the field of work, direct practices, and acquiring necessary skills is lost.

6. It is not possible to assess the perception of the audience in video conferences.

7. Students’ absences have increased.

8. It is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of new educational methods, including online lectures, and there is no certainty that digital and face-to-face models are as effective.

9. Students’ socio-economic differences and even their gender have affected the quality of learning in the current situation.

10. Understanding the tone of people’s voices, their writings, and even their pictures on the screen without real presence and eye contact is also a challenge.

11. Loss of shared experiences may occur and this can be a significant detriment to education.

Students and faculty should be aware of these challenges and increase their resilience and adaptability in the current situation so that they can successfully overcome such a difficult condition.

Consent to publish

All authors have read the final manuscript and have given their approval for the manuscript to be published in its present form.

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© 2021 Motie M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.