Returning in‘new normal’– a thematic analysis of Twitter chat by pharmacy students
This study qualitatively explored pharmacy students’ views and concerns related to the return of educational activities with ‘new normal’ in the coming academic year. A one-hour Twitter chat was scheduled, inviting all pharmacy students in Saudi Arabia to participate. Six questions, following the validation and piloting, related to the pros and cons of online education, suggestions for online education, student support, socially distanced campus, hybrid campus, and long-term impact of online education in 'new normal' were posted during the chat. Following the chat, the responses were downloaded, closely scrutinized to remove any confidential information, and thematically analyzed using the inductive method by two teams of research students independently. During the chat, 162 responses were received. Thematic analysis generated 260 codes that were categorized into 13 subthemes. These subthemes were further broadly categorized into two main themes: 'online education in new normal' and 'hybrid campus in new normal'. The participants highlighted the limitations and advantages of online education they experienced during the lockdown period, which can be translated to the 'new normal' era. They also provided numerous suggestions about improving teaching techniques and restructuring the courses to facilitate better learning and understanding of the content for online education in ‘new normal’. The participants also envisaged a hybrid campus with all the precautionary measures for the new academic year in ‘new normal’. We expect that our findings and the recommendations will be helpful for pharmacy colleges to reform online education and implement a hybrid campus in the ‘new normal’ era.
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