Juraj Dobrila University of Pula (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 2812-2821
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0720
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
After the unexpected, rapid and complete switch from face-to-face to online teaching due to COVID-19 outbreak in Spring 2020, the online variant remained in force for the three consecutive semesters at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula (Croatia). The first study that explored various aspects of online teaching was conducted after the first online semester and was reported about. At one point a method of salvation, online teaching prolonged and ceased being a novelty for both teachers and students. That elongation offered them lots of opportunities to identify advantages, learn from trials and errors and develop online teaching and learning. So this research focused on establishing similarities and differences over the three online semesters in 1) the used didactical methods and in 2) students’ experience of online compared to face-to-face education, specifically depending on their level of adjustment to the online environment. The research encompassed three studies. The first one took part after the first semester of online education, in June 2020, and it gathered 272 university students. The second study included 339 students and was carried out in February 2021, after the second consecutive online semester. The third study followed after the third consecutive semester held online, in June 2021, and it involved 235 students. In the online questionnaires students assessed how frequently different teaching methods and techniques had been used in the online courses and how useful they had found them. Answers showed that in all three semesters teachers had (almost) always used the same teaching methods and techniques with the same descending order: audio channel, presentations, e-mails, and chat. However, as online education prolonged, teachers showed themselves more on the camera. When students estimated the usefulness of the used techniques, in all three studies very similar order was kept. Students reported that in all three semesters they had mostly taken part in lectures by listening, watching, chatting, and replying to e-mails, and less in more active participation. Comparison of the online and face-to-face educational experience on an 18 items scale did not show differences with the longer exposure to online education. Yet, particular items revealed some changes. The same was established in the open-type answers. With the same descending order students in all three studies identified as highest advantages of online education – personal benefits, time-related benefits, and features of the online lecture delivery. Some disadvantages of online education, though, were differently ranked as online education prolonged. Personal detriments became more evident, while the extent of obligations decreased. Regardless of the length of exposure to online education, better adjusted students assessed it more positively. It can be concluded that with elongated online teaching in higher education more similarities than differences were found in the used didactical methods and in students’ reflections about advantages and disadvantages of the online delivery. When differences appeared, they revealed slight improvements in online education, probably because of efforts and adjustment on both sides, teachers’ as well as students’.
Adjustment, advantages, face-to-face, didactical methods, prolonged exposure.