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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2021; 18: 24.
Published online September 23, 2021.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2021.18.24
[Epub ahead of print]
Changes in academic performance in the online, integrated system-based curriculum implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a medical school in Korea
Do-Hwan Kim  , Hyo Jeong Lee  , Yanyan Lin  , Ye Ji Kang 
Department of Medical Education, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Ye Ji Kang ,Email: yejikang@hanyang.ac.kr
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: August 19, 2021  Accepted after revision: September 20, 2021
Abstract
Purpose
This study examined how students’ academic performance changed after undergoing a transition to online learning during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, based on the test results of 16 integrated courses conducted in 3 semesters at Hanyang University College of Medicine in Korea.
Methods
For the 16 required courses that formed an integrated system-based curriculum running for 3 semesters, the major examinations’ raw scores were collected for each student. Percent-correct scores were used in the subsequent analysis. We used the t-test to compare grades between 2019 and 2020, and the Cohen D was calculated as a measure of effect size. The correlation of scores between courses was calculated using Pearson correlation coefficients.
Results
There was a significant decrease in scores in 2020 for 10 courses (62.5%). While most of the integrated system-based curriculum test scores showed strong correlations, with coefficients of 0.6 or higher in both 2019 and 2020, the correlation coefficients were generally higher in 2020. When students were divided into low, middle, and high achievement groups, low-achieving students consistently showed declining test scores in all 3 semesters.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that the transition to online classes due to COVID-19 has led to an overall decline in academic performance. This overall decline, which may occur when the curriculum is centered on recorded lectures, needs to be addressed. Further, medical schools need to consider establishing a support system for the academic development of low-achieving students.
Keywords: Academic performance; COVID-19; Distance education; Undergraduate medical education; Republic of Korea
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