RESEARCH ARTICLE: The shift from class-based to online learning during COVID-19: A student and academic perception




Online learning, pharmacy academics, pharmacy students, resources, psychological effects


The COVID-19 pandemic, which was globally declared during the first quarter of the year 2020, led to the transition of teaching activities from the traditional classroom setting to online platforms. This study evaluated preparedness and perception towards online learning and its impact among pharmacy academics and students by using two self-administered questionnaires. Fifteen academics and 60 students answered the questionnaire. Participants had the required technology for online learning (academics n=14, 93%; students n=56, 93%) and believed that the transition to online learning was easy (academics n=12, 80%; students n=41, 68%). Most participants (academics n=12, 80%; students n=46, 77%) stated that online learning allowed more flexibility even though they preferred classroom-based approach. A minority of students stated that the shift to online learning during the pandemic made them feel alone (n=11, 18%), anxious (n=7, 12%) and depressed (n=9, 15%). Given the option, participants would prefer a hybrid learning approach, whereby some teaching activities are switched to online platforms.

Author Biographies

Nicolette Sammut Bartolo, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Maresca Attard Pizzuto, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Francesca Wirth, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Janis Vella Szijj, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Anthony Serracino-Inglott, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Lilian M Azzopardi, University of Malta, Malta

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery


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COVID-19 Research Paper