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Table 2 Summary of themes and sub-themes

From: The sudden transition to synchronized online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: a qualitative study exploring medical students’ perspectives

  Themes Sub-themes Description Example
1 Educational impact Content understanding Educational improvement due to better understanding of information “Yes, there is no doubt that online classes are better than campus-based classes because recorded lectures are very helpful. It helped me a lot in my academic progress this year.”
Content perception challenges Difficulties in understanding of the online delivered information due to variations in demand of content reception by learners “I faced difficulty in understanding some of the lectures, especially those containing x-rays, were not clear in the online sessions.”
2 Time management _ Improved time organization and utility due to online learning “Online sessions provided me with a great time to study and I experienced better time management.”
3 Challenges encountered Methodological challenges Quality assurance issues in the content delivery and implementation issues of the online learning “There were a lot of lectures scheduled in one day! Honestly speaking, I didn’t get time to study them well...”
Technical challenges Difficulties experienced due to technological hindrances of internet connectivity and poor utility of online tools “Slow internet connectivity and communication software failure were among frequent technical issues ....”
Behavioral challenges Barriers in adoption of online learning influenced by the individual personality characteristics “It’s not suitable for me because I am a visual and kinesthetic learner. I must admit that even though online classes helped me in raising my marks, ...”
4 Preferences for future _ Students’ choices of learning modalities for their next academic year “I would like to continue online classes if system is fool-proof and well prepared before we start using it again. I mean the technical part.”