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Thursday, November 12 • 11:00am - 11:25am
Navigating Open Education during COVID-19: Efforts of Medical Students Globally

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The session aims to shed light on open education during COVID-19 times and the role of medical students in its promotion.

It will begin with an open discussion about the current situation, including COVID-19 effects on education and specifically medical education, followed by the interlinkages between COVID-19 and open education. This will showcase the imminent role of open education in the COVID-19 era and its crucial benefits.

Next, the presenter will outline the main contributions done by medical students to promote open education during COVID. As a representative of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), the presenter will share the efforts and work of more than 1.3 million medical students from 139 countries. Initiatives are divided into 2 levels:


- IFMSA created a virtual map to identify what alternative measures medical schools worldwide are taking and to offer a global space for sharing and exchange of best practices for students.
- IFMSA collaborated with more than 20 global organizations and virtual education platforms which offered free access to students. With this IFMSA created an open-access COVID related materials, including a series of 6 “COVID-19 and youth” awareness videos with UNFPA and Prezi and more than 30 webinars with global experts reaching 90000+ students. This offered open education spaces for students to compensate for their suspended education and to promote the usage of open education resources.
- IFMSA also used open education to fight misinformation, by sharing a map of national trusted resources, mapping more than 180 fact-checking initiatives with WHO and offering it openly, and doing a survey on youth, COVID, and information supported by WHO & UNESCO which was followed by open education sources and training for youth on information literacy.


- Medical students in more than 95 countries organized local activities to promote open education within their peers, their patients, and the general population.

Finally, the session will be opened for an interactive discussion to reflect on the post-COVID situation and the role and future that open education has. Recommendations and calls for action will also be collected and communicated to relevant actors. The chief lesson would be the importance of involving youth, empowering them and giving them space to use their innovation and creativity in creating technology solutions to face the new normal

Learning Outcomes:
1. To demonstrate the imminent role of open education during the COVID-19 pandemic which has been essential to limit the COVID-19 related infodemic spreading through different media and social media platforms;

2. To present the open education efforts of medical students on a global and country-level during COVID-19;

3. To discuss and develop recommendations for placing open education as a key pillar in the post-pandemic recovery efforts.

avatar for Eglė Janušonytė

Eglė Janušonytė

Liaison Officer for SRHR Issues, incl. HIV and AIDS, The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA)
avatar for Omnia Omrani

Omnia Omrani

Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues, International Federation of Medical Students' Association
avatar for Saad Uakkas

Saad Uakkas

Final Year medical Student, University Mohamed V

Thursday November 12, 2020 11:00am - 11:25am EST
Concurrent 5
  COVID-19, Presentation