Objective

This study aimed to explore and compare the perceptions and attitudes of chiropractic students on a blended learning offering in 2019 and a subsequent shift to an e-learning approach in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

This was an exploratory descriptive study of 4th-year BHSc chiropractic students enrolled in the Clinical and Applied Biomechanics IV module in 2019 (n = 31) and 2020 (n = 33). The survey used close-ended Likert scale questions collected from 29 July to 14 August 2020. Data were analyzed using frequencies and descriptions, exploratory factor analysis, and reliability. Trends and interrelationships of and between student attitude, satisfaction, social influences, ease of use, accessibility, and effectivity were investigated for each year and compared between successive years' cohorts.

Results

Students were mostly female (76.6%), aged 20 to 24 years (84.4%). Although both cohorts showed similar positive attitudes, accessibility, and satisfaction levels, the e-learning group showed increased effectivity (p = .016) and ease of use (p = .038) compared with the blended learning cohort. Face-to-face time with the lecturer was shown to be more important to the blended learning cohort (p = .006). Strong correlations were demonstrated in both cohorts between accessibility and satisfaction with attitude, effectivity, and ease of use.

Conclusion

Findings suggest that students were more receptive to an e-learning approach than they may have been in the past. This may be as a direct consequence of the response to COVID-19, and the adapted offerings of the curriculum.

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Author notes

Fatima Ismail (corresponding author) is a lecturer in the Department of Chiropractic at the University of Johannesburg (John Orr Building, 7th Floor, University of Johannesburg, 55 Beit Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa; fismail@uj.co.za). Christopher Yelverton is head of the Chiropractic Department at the University of Johannesburg (John Orr Building, 7th Floor, University of Johannesburg, 55 Beit Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa; chrisy@uj.ac.za). Rolene Rademan is a chiropractic master's degree student in the Department of Chiropractic at the University of Johannesburg (John Orr Building, 7th Floor, University of Johannesburg, 55 Beit Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa; rolenerademan@gmail.com). Cynthia Peterson is a professor in the Department of Chiropractic at the University of Johannesburg (John Orr Building, 7th Floor, University of Johannesburg, 55 Beit Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa; xraydcpeterson@yahoo.ca). This article was received May 10, 2021, revised April 23, 2021, and accepted June 8, 2021.

Concept development: FI. Design: FI. Supervision: FI, CP. Data collection/processing: RR. Analysis/interpretation: FI, CY. Literature search: FI, RR. Writing: FI, RR, CY. Critical review: FI, CP, CY.