Remote learning of biochemistry during the COVID-19 pandemic: case of undergraduate students in Bogota, Colombia
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic forced the implementation of global emergency measures based on social distancing. In Colombia, remote classes in universities have avoided the spread of the disease. However, the implementation of remote classes demands virtual pedagogical strategies that are not traditionally used for teaching basic sciences in the Colombian public education system. This study describes student perception of remote biochemistry classes at Universidad Nacional de Colombia
... ta).Methods: A virtual survey was applied to undergraduate students of dentistry and biology programs to assess their perception of the quality and academic impact of remote classes during the mandatory lockdown decreed by the Colombian government for semester I of 2020. Results: The students demonstrated an overall acceptance of the remote biochemistry classes, highlighting that the quality of the classes facilitated the understanding of the topics, increased assessment performance, and significantly promoted self-learning (according to 84.6% of the respondents). Although some students reported having experienced reduced attention to the classes throughout the semester, most of them (80.8%) would remotely attend the biochemistry course again.Conclusions: Under confinement, the remote biochemistry classes were well accepted by undergraduate students of dentistry and biology programs of the Colombian public university system. The students acknowledged the quality of the classes, which significantly contributed to understanding basic concepts and motivated the students to develop a deeper comprehension of the reviewed topics. These findings suggest that combining remote learning with traditional lectures could be a suitable choice to enhance the learning process of biochemistry for students of medical and basic sciences. Undoubtedly, virtual learning is a good option for public education in the post-COVID-19 future in developing countries, such as Colombia, which generally have problems related to student desertion and failure due to economic problems.