The impact of COVID-19 on global contact lens education

Shehzad A. Naroo, Philip B. Morgan, Lakshmi Shinde, Alison Ewbank*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on contact lens education around the world. Methods: An online survey among contact lens educators (educator members of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators), conducted in May 2020. Results: A total of 214 responses were received from 32 countries (representing a 39% response rate). Overall, 71% of respondents’ institutions were closed to students to attend at that time. A majority (58%) were delivering more online education than they would normally provide. Live online lectures and discussion was the most commonly used method (68%). Zoom was the most common videoconferencing technology (56%) and the most popular social media platform for communicating with students was WhatsApp (48%). About half (54%) were running online exams or assessments, 24% holding these for students to attend in person, and 27% were conducting practical sessions. Two in three (68%) said they would conduct more than 50% of their total teaching online by the end of 2020, and 12% anticipated 90% or more of their teaching would be online. Of all respondents, 74% expressed interest in an online platform delivering educational resources. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the teaching of contact lenses, as educational institutions worldwide move to online delivery. Major challenges remain with online contact lens education, with respect to teaching practical skills, student assessment and interaction. More support will be needed for educators to meet these challenges as the recovery from the pandemic continues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Optometry
Issue number1
Early online date26 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espa ̃na, S.L.U. This is anopen access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


  • Contact lenses
  • COVID-19
  • Education
  • Educational technology
  • Online teaching


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