THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC SITUATION ON THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION: SURVEY RESULTS OF ULSIT
University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Introduction: Covid-19 affected higher educational institutions not just in Wuhan, China where the virus originated but all other higher educational institutions in 188 countries as of April 06, 2020. Educational countermeasures are taken to continue educating the students despite the COVID-19 predicaments. More than 300 million students worldwide are having their education disrupted by the spread of Coronavirus. Universities haven’t faced this level of disruption in generations, but unlike any time in the past, we have the ability to continue education even when universities close. Life has taken a new direction, raising new questions about how distance learning can be delivered; how it can be improved; what is it impact in educational and psychological aspect. One of the urgent questions is the quality of the educational process in isolation and how to preserve the basic teaching principle in pursuit of the strategic goals of higher education. Presentation: The essence of this approach was not clear in terms of parameters, but it was known that it would be the result of the construction of a new social phenomenon - education in isolation during a pandemic. Real-time information sharing and cultural communication is already a fact. The challenge facing the higher education system is to improve the organization of the learning process and to integrate traditional bases into new platforms. The aim of the paper is to present main findings from the empirical study “Life with COVID-19 and something else: educational and psychological aspect”, dedicated to the impact of the pandemic situation on the educational process at the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT), Bulgaria. Methodology: Therefore, this study employed an online survey to investigate the level of satisfaction of online learning at ULSIT and CODID’s psychological impact on the students at the university. The data were analyzed through quantitative and qualitative methods. Results: The study was met with interest by students in total 120 invitations sent to respondents received 92 fully completed responses. Respondents consider as an advantages of online learning that they have more time for their own self-improvement, share that the new teaching methods in the university environment motivate them; no time is lost to move, everyone has the freedom to plan their day alone, and that the home environment predisposes to more in-depth work. Disadvantages include the reduction of the effectiveness of training due to technical problems, the increased time spent in front of the computer, the lack of live contact with colleagues. Conclusion: The findings from this study will be of much benefit to university administrators and management in taking future emergency decisions concerning the implementation of online learning programs for student’s at the university.
Keywords: Covid-19, higher education, online training, distance learning, social isolation.