Asynchronous, digital teaching in times of COVID-19: a teaching example from general practice.

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Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a strong impact on academic teaching and could change it sustainably. Ad hoc digitization of teaching had to be carried out. General practice teaching situation: Education in general practice at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) offers, in addition to the main lecture, various elective courses, clinical traineeships, internship as well as the elective part in the final practical year. The main lecture and one clinical elective course were offered digitally in the summer term 2020. Digital methods: In the main lecture, an adapted inverted-classroom concept was used. Podcasts and audio annotated videos were provided. Teaching materials were reflected via a weekly, 1hr video consultation and in a forum. An asynchronous learning module was developed for the elective course “Smart Decision-making in Clinical Practice”. Each module consisted of course preparation, podcasts and follow-ups as well as a supervised forum. Results: The main lecture (response rate n=115/170; 67.6%) was rated “very good” on average. The same applies to the commented videos. The forum, reflective video consultation and teaching materials were rated “good” on average. The predominantly desired forms of presence were “Focus on virtual with in-depth presence phases” (n=54) and “Focus on presence phases, virtual support only” (n=37). Discussion and implications: The digital restructuring enables students to work on the course contents independently. This requires self-regulation strategies, which in future shall be taught through portfolio work. The teaching focus shifts from a passive teaching format to an interactive one. First evaluation results showed a very good acceptance by the students.

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