Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Lynda Goodfellow

Second Advisor

Kyle Brandenberger

Third Advisor

Shi Huh Samuel Shan


Background: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic learning (E-learning) has emerged as the primary method for delivering educational materials, particularly within the scope of Saudi Arabian (SA) Respiratory Therapy (RT) education. PURPOSE: To evaluate the perception of E-learning among RT students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by comparing face-to-face learning to E-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey to investigate the perception of E-learning was conducted and distributed using a convenience sample of RT students through an online platform (Google Forms) between September and November 2023. RESULTS: Overall, 221 RT students, with females accounting for 119 (53.8%), replied to the online survey. The study revealed several advantages of E-learning, including the ability to study at home (67.9%), access to online materials (64.7%), and learning at own pace (62.4%). The main disadvantages as indicated by most respondents were the lack of interactions with patients (70.1%), technical problems (56.6%), and reduced interaction with teachers (50.7%). No significant difference in the perceptions of knowledge enhancement between face-to-face and E-learning methods (P = .32). However, E-learning was considered a lower effective method than face-to-face learning for both clinical skill development (P < .001), and social competencies (P < .001). Additionally, respondents reported that they were less actively engaged during E-learning classes compared to face-to-face classes (P < .001). Nonetheless, a significant percentage of respondents (71.9%) claimed that E-learning was an enjoyable experience. CONCLUSION: This research emphasizes the potency of E-learning in terms of increasing knowledge as a valuable tool for educating Saudi RT students. Nevertheless, it highlights the need for a meticulously planned strategy and a proactive implementation approach to effectively implement clinical and social skills E-learning into the educational framework of RT students.


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