Do Medical Students Like Pre-recorded Lectures? An Insight from Pharmacology Teaching

Author: Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed


Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed and Nur Lisa Zaharan

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced academic institutions to move many of their face-to-face teaching and learning activities online. The Medical Education Research and Development Unit (MERDU), Universiti Malaya had instructed that all lectures to be prepared beforehand as pre-recorded voiced over lecture slides to allow for more flexibility for students. This study aimed to see if Stage 1 and Stage 2 medical students appreciated the changes made for online learning and if the changes could be maintained after the movement control order (MCO) is over.  

Methods: Longitudinal comparison of feedbacks obtained from traditional face-to-face pharmacology teaching to pre-clinical Stage 1 and Stage 2 students from the 2018/2019 cohort with the 2020/2021 cohort was carried out.  Student feedback scores on the effectiveness of having pre-recorded lectures in assisting them to achieve learning objectives were collected. Open-ended students’ feedback including preferences and suggestions for changes were also noted.  A two-tailed Student’s t-test was used to compare the scores, and p<0.05 was taken as significant. 

Results: The total number of respondents were 790 and 774, for 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 cohorts, respectively. A total of 45 teaching sessions were included for each cohort.  The average score comparison between 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 cohorts was statistically very significant (p<0.00005, mean 4.44±0.25 and 4.700.16, respectively). 40 out of 45 sessions had either quizzes or case-based learning during their synchronous sessions. These helped students understand the topics better, while the lecturers noted positive interactions with the students. 

Conclusion: Changes made to accommodate online teachings had resulted in a positive learning experience for pre-clinical pharmacology students. With these results, it is likely that pre-recorded lectures to support flexible learning as well as interactive discussion/quiz approach during face-to-face sessions, may be adopted as the mainstay of pharmacology teaching in the future.  


Keywords: COVID-19 learning, asynchronous, pre-recorded lectures, active learning

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur


Correspondence to: Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed, Medical Lecturer, Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. [email protected]