THE PERCEPTION OF PORTUGUESE PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS REGARDING THE INSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED ABOUT THE TRANSITION TO ONLINE CLASSES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
1 Polytechnic of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
3 Viseu Polytechnic Institute (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:With the COVID19 pandemic, Portuguese Public Higher Education Institutions were confronted with the challenge of transitioning from an in-class and widely adopted presential reality to an online one. This urgent transition, driven by this world-shifting event still to be overcome, presented several challenges full of surprises for many students, teachers and administrative staff members due to the sheer fact that all their activities were based on a presential paradigm. Practices regarding this transition varied between Portuguese Public Higher Education Institutions (PPHEI) and there was general doubt if the information provided was done so on time, ahead of time, or just in time. This paper presents the results of an online questionnaire that collected almost 2000 responses from PPHEI students. The results clearly show that practices varied, although with some shared indicators and that the information provided did not always meet the student’s expectations and needs. The questionnaire also provided relevant information about the media through which these institutions communicated with their students and provided vital information, not only about the pandemic but also about how classes would be carried out during the remaining of the academic year. The overall results enable the researchers involved to affirm that communicating with the students regarding the challenges at hand has room for improvement and that not all PPHEI fully understood the importance of keeping students informed about the ongoing pandemic and how their class-related activities would be influenced. The results also provide interesting indicators that may be used in the eventual case of a COVID19 related second wave or if a similar event occurs.
Keywords: COVID19, Higher Education, Online Classes, e-learning, Communication.