FROM FACE-TO-FACE TO ONLINE: ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE RAPID TRANSITION OF HIGHER EDUCATION DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK – THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:In 2020, the coronavirus outbreak and the second wave that followed this outbreak compelled Higher Education (HE) institutions worldwide to cancel campus-based teaching and conduct a variety of lessons remotely. This transition was implemented in a short period because it was deemed necessary to maintain continuity of teaching and learning provision. Even in ordinary times, i.e. in periods that do not necessitate a hurried implementation of remote learning, several challenges are associated with distance education. The objective of this paper is to critically consider whether this rapid transition from traditional modes of teaching and learning to online delivery was effective and what issues emerged from the learners’ perspectives. Specifically, this study focuses on a public university in Cyprus that previously to the pandemic only offered face-to-face teaching. Data was gathered through an online questionnaire (n=86), and a thematic analysis was undertaken to determine the learners’ perspectives on the rapid transition to online learning. The results of this investigation indicate that the learners were confronted with a variety of challenges ranging from pedagogical to technical. It is argued that to a large extent these challenges can be resolved by addressing the professional development of academic staff regarding teaching and learning online.
Keywords: Higher education, coronavirus, rapid transition, face-to-face, online, covid-19.