The lived experience of distance learning of medical students during the CoViD-19 pandemic in Italy: a descriptive phenomenological research

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Authors: Fabrizio Consorti, Giacomo Consorti


Introduction – The pandemic forced the quick adoption of distance education in Italian schools of Medicine. Qualitative research about the sudden adoption of distance education is missing. This study explores from a phenomenological perspective the lived experience of medical students of distance education during the CoViD-19 pandemic.

Methods – A descriptive phenomenological research of written narrative essays about one distance lesson was conducted. Texts were collected through the e-learning platform and analysed according to Giorgi’s method

Results – Eighteen narratives were analysed. Three themes emerged, which described the lived experience of the participants: distance learning was not an educational choice but a mandatory answer to the pandemic that disrupted the usual course of our lives; distance learning can make the classroom cozy; distance learning puts you in a “bubble”.

Discussion – These findings confirm what is already known in general about distance learning and add a new insight on the importance of the social processes and physical presence of students in the development of their identity as a student. Our findings underline the importance of faculty development on the issues of distance learning.

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