GENERAL AND COMMUNICATION IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON HIGHER EDUCATION: GLOBAL AND UKRAINIAN DIMENSIONS
1 National Aviation University (UKRAINE)
2 Mykolaiv V. Sukhomlinsky National University (UKRAINE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Today most countries of the world are experiencing the shock of the COVID-19. The pandemic has led to the unprecedented health and socio-economic crisis which the mankind lives in and which will mark our times for long. The lockdown affected all spheres, changed completely the usual way of life of the humankind, taught everyone to live in a new reality.
COVID-19 has also severely affected the entire higher education sector around the world. It has led to the largest malfunction of education systems throughout history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion students in more than 190 countries on all continents. Nonetheless, the systems of higher education and individual universities have quickly responded to force majeure situation, showing innovative approaches in support of education and training continuity.
The objective of the current study is defining the nature of communication barriers of emergency digitally enhanced educational environments and making recommendations for their overcoming.
Because of quarantine measures, caused by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need for a radical change in forms and methods of teaching, methods of interpersonal communication, reorganization of the educational process. During the lockdown period, universities, educational organizations, associations, etc. conducted a series of studies to identify threats and potential opportunities for higher education during the pandemic. The implementation solutions in the sector of higher education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic include the following levels: international cooperation, national higher education policies, and management practices of higher education institutions. As national education systems are facing the same challenges as the global educational environment, special attention was paid to the analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on the Ukrainian system of higher education. Teachers of the humanities (pedagogics, psychology, foreign languages, sociology, philosophy, history, business and public relations, political science, etc.), who by the very nature of the subjects they do, should teach students to communicate, establish interpersonal contacts, perform social activities, etc., reacted to the shift to online teaching especially sharply. Special survey of this category of teaching staff was carried out.
Empirical research at the national level was carried out to contribute to better understanding of the problems associated with emergency shift to online teaching and learning. The survey of the teachers of the humanities in Ukraine showed that they were worried when the lockdown was announced, felt uncomfortable due to lack of practical competence in conducting online classes, but managed to adapt to the situation. The greatest concern for them was dissatisfaction with online communication. At present, our recommendations are as follows: in order to minimize the risks of communication barriers in emergency online teaching the teachers of the humanities should have a well-developed technical competence, be flexible in using communication strategies, get used to the thought that online communication differs from face-to-face communication and focus more on informative, and less on emotional outcomes.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, impact, shift to emergency online education, survey, teachers of the humanities, communication barriers.