Faculty perception of teaching translation courses online during Covid-19

Zakaryia Almahasees (Department of English Language and Translation, Applied Science Private University, Amman, Jordan)
Mutahar Qassem (Department of English Language, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia)

PSU Research Review

ISSN: 2399-1747

Article publication date: 10 May 2021

2225

Abstract

Purpose

The spread of Covid-19 has led to the closure of educational institutions worldwide, forcing academic institutions to find online platforms. The purpose of this paper is to accelerate the development of the online learning (OL) environments within those institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded the extent of the academic institutions' readiness to deal with such a crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

In this vein, the study aimed to identify the perception of translation instructors in teaching translation courses online during Covid-19, using a questionnaire to explore the strategies and challenges of teaching and assessing students' performance. The analysis revealed instructors' reliance on Zoom and Microsoft Teams in offering virtual classes and WhatsApp in communication with students outside the class.

Findings

The findings revealed the relative effectiveness of online education, but its efficacy is less than face-to-face learning according to the respondents' views. It was also found that students faced difficulties in OL, which lie in adapting to the online environment, lack of interaction and motivation and the deficiency of data connections. Even though online education could work as an aid during Covid-19, but it could not replace face-to-face instruction. Based on the findings, the study recommended blended learning. Combining online education with face-to-face instruction, i.e. face-to-face plus synchronous and asynchronous, would result in a rigorous OL environment.

Originality/value

The research is genuine and there is no conflict of interest.

Keywords

Citation

Almahasees, Z. and Qassem, M. (2021), "Faculty perception of teaching translation courses online during Covid-19", PSU Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRR-12-2020-0044

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Zakaryia Almahasees and Mutahar Qassem.

License

Published in PSU Research Review. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence maybe seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


1. Introduction

Covid-19 is a once-in-a-century health crisis that has hit more than 200 countries around the world at the same time. Indeed, it becomes the 21st century global crisis. On March 11, the World Health Organization Chief declared that Covid-19 labeled as a pandemic disease. As the novel Covid-19 passes the borders quickly, some countries implement measures to control and prevent the virus's spread, ranging from full to partial lockdown. In Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries, they have followed strict lockdown, where people are forced to stay home. Educational institutions are one of those sectors that have been affected by strict lockdown. And therefore, they decided to shift the method of teaching from traditional to online platforms. Majdoubeh (2020) shows that Jordan, a Middle Eastern Country, had imposed a national lockdown, which resulted in universities' and schools' closure. UN (2020) reflects that the Covid-19 pandemic has created “the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94% of the world's student population, up to 99% in low and lower-middle-income countries.” The outbreak of Covid-19 imposed lockdown, where people are forced to stay home. The university closure entails virtual learning, where the full course content is taught online. The universities during Covid-19 teach through two main methods: synchronous online learning (OL) that allows the students and teachers to meet at a scheduled time and asynchronous, which allows the students to access online material of classes whenever they choose.

Faculty helps students succeed, make learning enjoyable, shaping students' attitudes and personalities. The Covid-19 of universities helped apply online Technology abroad (World Bank Group, 2021). Covid-19 closure also affects higher education institutions. The universities switched to teach online. Some of the universities are equipped, and their staff is trained to teach online. In some parts of the world, the faculty does not have enough training to conduct online teaching. Further, adopting the online mode may not work well in some university programs, as they need direct contact with instructors to manage the courses' practical side. In my opinion, the translation program is among these programs that entail more practice and the instructor's direct guidance. It is a de facto that teaching translation courses involve face-to-face communications, and the switch to online mode makes it necessary to scrutinize faculty' readiness to teach online and their perceptions of teaching translation courses regarding online limitations, challenges of teaching and assessment strategies.

1.1 Online learning

Development occurs in education theories, where the instruction methods have shifted from teacher-centered to student-centered approach. The teacher-centered method focuses on the teachers as the source of knowledge whereas in the student-centered method, the students participate in knowledge production in the class (Hancock et al., 2002). In a student-centered approach, teachers' role turns to “helper to students who establish and enforce their own rules. Teachers respond to student work through neutral feedback and encourage students to provide alternative/additional responses” (Hancock et al., 2002, pp. 366–367). Student-centered instruction has currently benefited from many new technologies through using the internet and other advanced technological tools to share, transfer and extend knowledge. Therefore, e-learning has become a de facto of learning in the 21st century as it makes a good use of computerized tools in education. The European Commission defines e-learning as “the use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services, as well as remote exchange and collaboration” (Ehlers and Pawlowski, 2006, p. 22).

OL has shown significant growth over the past decade. The internet and education integrate to allow people to pursue their education and gain the necessary skills for the future. There are three online teaching approaches (enhanced approach, blended learning and online approach). The enhanced approach is an innovative onsite teaching method that uses technology intensively, whereas blended learning mixes traditional face-to-face learning and OL. The online approach uses virtual learning, where the course content is delivered online (Mazohl and Makl, 2016). OL is convenient, where the students have access to any computer, tablets and phones, which increases the understanding and retention of courses (Stern, 2020). Moreover, OL is an innovative approach where teaching methods turn to be student centered. The student takes part in the learning process, and the teacher works as a supervisor.

1.2 Online learning in the Arab world

OL becomes the medium of communication tool during the 21st century. The situation of OL is different worldwide. In the Arab world, OL relies on the capacity of the infrastructure of the country. Some Arab countries have made a good start in Levant countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) and the Arab Gulf countries. During Covid-19, most Arab universities tended to use synchronous and asynchronous OL. In Jordan, the first endeavor to integrate OL dated back to 2002 in a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and ministries of Planning and Information Technology (Dirani and Yoon, 2009). They created national knowledge networks based on information Technology and Computing (ITC) to transform traditional teaching into the e-learning system. They showed that the e-learning system relied on self-learning and critical thinking instead of the traditional educational methods, which is heavily teacher-centered learning. In 2012, the Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization launched the Talal Abu Ghazaleh University Company (TAGI-UNI) to life. This online university was established to facilitate enrollment, registration and study without traveling to the university. Saadeh and Al-Karimi (2009) indicated that the University of Jordan used an asynchronous blended e-learning approach. The students access online platforms whenever they prefer. It is worth mentioning that they indicated that face-to-face teaching is irreplaceable. During Covid 19, Jordanian Universities adopted synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

1.3 Online learning during Covid-19

Covid-19 becames a global crisis. The spread of Covid-19 all over the world led to the temporary closure of educational institutions (universities and schools). Such closure increased in the development of the OL environments within those institutions to ensure learning. Covid-19 tests governments and academic institutions' readiness to cope with pandemic by offering courses online via collaborative platforms. Many institutions were not ready, as they did not expect closure in the 21st century, the age of Technology and Medical advancements. Even though face-to-face traditional teaching is the most effective method, there are some benefits for OL during Covid-19. It helps to ensure the social distancing to prevent and control the spread of the virus. CAE, Computer Aid eLearning USA Corp, lists nine benefits for eLearning during Covid-19. Online Education offers an effective learning environment and reinforces the 24/7 access to education platforms at their preferred time and pace. Moreover, it ensures flexible scheduling and availability in any location. Furthermore, it allows the students to provide their feedback to their teachers and motivate the educational centers to show how they are well prepared to deal with the crisis and their performance level.

2. Literature review

Translation activity changed over the past decade (Deng, 2016; Gümüş, 2017; Robinson et al., 2017; Munday, 2016). The development of Technology adds various methods that aid in the translation training, translation workflow and conduction of translation research. Technological rapid changes require new approaches to translators' training and preparation (Faber, 2012; Shiyab, 2017). Dorothy (2007), Garcia (2013) and Roziner and Shlesinger (2010) indicated that technology advancement affected translation at all levels (working places, educational institutions, etc.).

Traditionally, teaching translation is conducted based on face-to-face activity, where the translation faculty transfers the knowledge to the student. Technology impacted not only the working environment but also the teaching methods. Translation teaching started to shift from face to face to online. Gorozhanov et al. (2018) and Bromberg and Irina (2010, p. 1) showed that teaching translation online entails “compliance with norms and rules of social interaction in the virtual environment; recognition of the fact that the tutor is an expert in the field of theory and practice of translation and a mediator between the student and the virtual environment; availability of a communication channel for regular interpersonal contact between the tutor and the student for expert consultation.” They developed a translation course through practicing translation of original articles from BBC. They indicated that the student should translate the article and then meet his instructor via video conference to discuss student errors to minimize their future occurrence. They found that teaching translation online “is a good way for the expert to upgrade his/her knowledge and widen his/her own experience of practical work (Gorozhanov et al., 2018; Bromberg and Irina, 2010, p. 6). Al-Batineh et al. (2021) and Baker (2011) showed that the lack of eLearning platforms for translation makes it challenging to implement translation tasks that mimic a real-life situation. Their research proposed designing e-learning software engineers when developing OL tools for translator-training purposes based on Jirava's (2004) software. The research concluded that the proposed mechanism is handy for translation students. Felege and Olson (2015) conducted a study on faculty perception regarding online education. They found that faculty with experience in online teaching are more likely to have a positive view of online education. They showed that teaching online and associated duties need a longer time than traditional instruction. On the other hand, Kalyanasundaram and Madhavi assessed students' perceptions regarding Online courses during the Covid-19. They found that students were optimistic about e-learning.

Schools, colleges and universities across the world have been shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These institutions are doing their best to ensure the continuation of learning during the epidemic. The universities and schools used different platforms to conduct virtual classes through video calls and other online media to upload the study material online and perform collaborative classes to reduce students' loss. Martín-Blas and Serrano-Fernández (2009) indicated that education platforms are structured to share information and coordinate research activities. Garcia (2013) mentioned that there are several platforms to teach foreign languages, such as Babel (11 languages, over a million users), Busuu (7 languages and more than 9 million users), Live mocha (35 languages and more than 9 million users). UNESCO (2020) lists the most prominent collaboration platforms that support live-video communication: DingTalk (online platform for video conferencing, attendance tracking, sharing information and instant messaging), Lark (collaborative eLearning platform), Hangouts Meet (Video calls tool), Teams (Chat, meet, contact and collaboration feature integrated with Microsoft Office software), Skype (Video and audio calls with talk, chat and collaboration features), WeChat Work (video sharing and calls for Chinese), WhatsApp (Video and audio calls, chat and content share) and Zoom (Video and audio calls with talk, chat and collaboration features). The study aims to identify faculty's perception in teaching translation studies online and the popular platforms used in their teaching.

Several studies were conducted on the students' and teachers' perception of OL in different fields of education during the Covid-19 pandemic except (Gómez-Rey et al., 2016), among them are (Wei and Chou, 2020; Tsai et al., 2020; Gómez-Rey et al., 2016; Haider and Al-Salman, 2020; Almekhlafy, 2020; Kulal and Nayak, 2020; Nugroho et al., 2020). Only two studies were conducted in the situation of translation studies and most of these studies focused on students' perspective. Wei and Chou (2020) found that OL readiness has positive effect on students’ OL performance and perception, which means that educational instructions should have good technological infrastructure to create a successful OL process during the pandemic. Similarly, (Tsai et al. (2020) revealed that online learners with higher OL self-efficacy have positive effect on learners' satisfaction and performance during Covid-19. Gómez-Rey et al. (2016) investigated teachers’ and learners’ perceptions of the quality of their OL experience. They found teachers perceive collaborative learning variables as crucial, whereas learners are more concerned with their own learning benefits via OL. Haider and Al-Salman (2020) scrutinizing data set of 775 Jordanian university students found after Covid-19 sleep compliance dropped by more than 50%; more than 80% of study’s participants showed that using digital tools for learning impacted their sleeping habits; more than 90% of students indicated that continuous exposure to electronic screens in OL is tiring; 89% of respondents agreed that prolonged use of e-learning tools often led to boredom, nervousness and tension; 73% of students prefers the return of face-to-face instruction, as OL socially and psychologically is unhealthy (). Almekhlafy (2020) found that the prior experience of e-learning has an impact on the students’ perception, meaning the positive or negative prior experience of the students of OL has effect on their perception during Covid-19. Kulal and Nayak (2020) studied the perception of teachers and students toward online classes, using two separate structured questionnaires for students and teachers during the Covid-19. The study revealed that students are comfortable with online classes during the pandemic, but they do not believe that online classes will replace traditional classroom teaching. As for teachers, the study found that teachers faced difficulties in conducting online classes due to a lack of proper training and development for doing online classes during the pandemic. Nugroho et al. (2020) investigated the teaching procedures for translation courses during the Covid-19 pandemic and assess students' perceptions of the teaching of these courses. They found that 80% of respondents stated that they did not like the online lecture mode because of the difficulties they experienced. The results showed a positive perception of 90% on the use of Omega and Google Classroom. Ismail et al. (2019) studied the impact of OL on the philosophy of teaching online translation courses. They found that teachers' perception of online is influenced by their philosophy of OL. The negative perception of OL is ascribed to the traditional perception of OL.

2.1 Literature and research questions

Literature review revealed some conflicting results on the perception of OL during the Covid-19, which might be ascribed to the different environments of the OL. Besides, the students and teachers may not have experience of OL or have negative experience with it. Therefore, this study attempts to get empirical data about the perception of faculty members from the teaching situation of translation studies. Besides, there is a lack of studies in translation studies on teachers' and students' views on OL during Covid-19. Therefore, the present study aims to bridge the gap by investigating tutors' perceptions of OL in translation courses. The main questions that guide the study's conduction are as follows:

Q1.

How effective is OL in translation courses from the Faculty's perspective during Covid-19?

Q2.

To what extent the faculty members are trained in using online tools?

Q3.

What is the faculty's perception of time and assignment management in teaching translation courses online during Covid-19?

Q4.

What are the students' challenges in OL, according to faculty?

Q5.

What are the most common online platforms followed by teachers in the situation of teaching translation courses?

3. Methodology

3.1 Participants

Drawing on online survey (Wright, 2005), the sample of the study was selected (i.e. instructors of translation courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels). In total, 49 faculty members were selected via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and LinkedIn to ensure social distancing. The sample is deemed sufficient to provide constructive feedback on the faculty's perception regarding teaching translation courses online.

The study used an online questionnaire delivered to participants in the period between June 10 and August 29 during the universities lock-down to control the spread of Covid-19. In total, 34 males and 15 females participated in the survey. The mean of their ages ranges 31–50 (SD = 1.00224). Thirty-eight participants held PhD and 11 held master's degrees. Forty-seven participants teach at university, and three teach at college. Their academic ranks were 7 professors, 11 associate professors, 18 assistant professors, 9 lecturers and 4 teaching assistants. In total, 10 participants teach postgraduates, and 39 teach undergraduates. A majority of respondents are aged between 31 and 40 with (40%). Table 1 provides details on demographic information.

3.2. Questionnaire design

The online questionnaire consisted of seven main divisions: demographic information, Online Education Training, Faculty readiness to teach online, Faculty's perceptions regarding the effectiveness of teaching translation courses online, Faculty's perception of time management and assignment management and student's challenges. Two professors reviewed the survey, and proper modifications were completed before delivering it to participants. Participation in the study was voluntary and personal identifiers were not collected. Data were imported into Excel for management and then SPSS 25 for analysis.

One-sample t-test was used to analyze Likert scale-based survey to detect a statistical significance in the distribution of the faculty's perception of online teaching of translation courses, which is recommended by De Winter and Dodou, (2010) and Harpe (2015). The survey consists of five points: strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree and strongly agree; thus, the t-test can indicate how five-point Likert data look like in a group (Ismail et al., 2019).

3.3 Validity and reliability

The questionnaire was refereed by two experts to validate the questionnaire's design. Their comments were considered in deleting some items of the questionnaire because of their irrelevance. As for reliability, Cronbach's α was used as a measure of internal consistency; that is, how closely related a set of items are as a group. The results of the test showed that the items of the questionnaire are consistent. The α coefficient for the 26 items is 0.889, suggesting that the things have relatively high internal consistency. A reliability coefficient of 0.70 or higher is considered “acceptable” in most social science research situations (Qassem, 2020).

4. Results

The findings are structured according to the sections of the questionnaire.

4.1 Online teaching experience

First, the study examined the readiness of tutors of the translation courses to teach translation courses online. The analysis revealed that 68% of tutors had the experience of OL before Covid-19, whereas 32% did not have experience in OL before Covid-19. In total, 76% of the faculty members showed that they received training in OL, whereas 24% did not receive training in OL.

The faculty showed that they used Zoom and Microsoft Teams in teaching translation courses by 72%. However, some of the faculty indicated that they used e-learning platforms that are specifically designed for university students only. Moreover, 10% of faculty showed that they used Blackboard in their teaching along with Facebook meeting by 2%. Finally, 50% of the participants revealed that they used WhatsApp as a communication tool with their students outside the online class. The second popular platform is Zoom and Microsoft Teams chat and text options, with 28%. Moreover, Facebook pages occupied the third rank by 14%, whereas phone calls were used by 8% of the participants (Table 2).

This first scale question was about the faculty's opinion on their preference for training guidelines for preparing for online courses. The mean of students' responses (M = 4.53, p < 0.001, N = 30), showed the students' agreement on their preference of training/guidelines for the preparation of online courses. Given that 26 post-tests were conducted, a Bonferroni correction was used to adjust for Type 1 error. Accordingly, all single-degree-of-freedom results were assessed at an α of 0.001 (i.e. 0.05/26 = 0.001) (Table 3).

4.2 Faculty perception of computer literacy and online class preparations

The second section of the questionnaire was about computer literacy and online class preparations. The participants were asked to show their computer competency and IT skills. The analysis revealed that teachers' responses are centered on the value of agreement in the first three items. In comparison, the past two items (easy use of online tools and online lecture effectiveness) were centered on the value of neutralism (neither agree nor disagree). These differences are statistically significant at 0.001 after a Bonferroni was corrected. The majority of respondents agreed that they have sufficient knowledge to conduct online classes and they also agreed that conducting online education becomes a necessity during Covid-19 (Table 4).

4.3 Faculty's perception of the effectiveness of online teaching of translation courses

The third section of the questionnaire was on the faculty's perception of the effectiveness of online translation courses. The faculty's perception was neutral in the fifth item (students in OL outperforms students in face-to-face learning). Besides, the faculty's responses on the possibility of taking translation courses without direct contact between faculty and their students were also centered on neutralism value, which was reflected in the mean scores of the instructors' responses (M = 3.1224, SD = 1.37890, p < 0.001). In the sixth item, the teachers agreed that students with traditional teaching outperform students with OL (M = 3.8367, SD = 1.02768). The remaining items received agreement value. These values were statistically significant after Bonferroni was corrected (p < 0.001) (Table 5).

4.4 Faculty' perception of time and assignment management

The fourth section of the questionnaire was about the faculty' perception of time and assignment management. They were asked to respond if they agree to keep online classes short. The analysis indicated all the items of the section received agreement value. The teachers agreed to keep their remote classes short or as a series of short sessions. These values were statistically significant after Bonferroni was corrected (p < 0.001) (Table 6).

4.5 Faculty perception on student challenges during Covid-19

The last section of the questionnaire examined the student challenges during teaching translation courses online from the faculty's perception. The mean score of the first item (the majority of students struggled to adapt to online education) was 3.6667(SD, 1.20872, (p < 0.001) after correcting Bonferroni. This value was between neutralism and agreement. It is closer to the agreement. The rest of the items received agreement value (M = 3.9796, SD; M = 3.7917, SD = 1.27092; M = 3.8163, SD = 1.20197). These responses showed that the students encountered challenges in teaching translation courses online (Table 7).

5. Discussion

An analysis of the Faculty's responses revealed their perception of teaching translation courses online in terms of training, online teaching effectiveness and the students' challenges. The significant findings revealed by the study were interpreted and discussed below.

5.1 Online teaching experience

The analysis revealed that 68% of the faculty members had training in online teaching, whereas 32% did not have. This finding has been found by Wei and Chou (2020) and Tsai et al. (2020). In their studies, they found that training and preparation for OL have a positive effect on learners' satisfaction and performance during Covid-19. Providing training and development programs for faculty is crucial to enhance the faculty's quality of performance, increase their motivation and achieve students' satisfaction. This finding highlights the role of Academic Development Centers at the universities in dealing with abrupt crises, such as Covid-19 through offering sufficient training for both teachers and students.

The analysis revealed instructors' reliance on Zoom and Microsoft Teams in offering virtual classes and WhatsApp in communication with students outside the class, which might be attributed to their effectiveness in teaching translation courses online. The study found that Zoom and Microsoft Teams are the two most popular platforms used during Covid-19 among tutors of translation courses. Moreover, WhatsApp is the most popular tool of communication between the faculty and their students outside the class time. This aligns with (Statista, 2020) that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app with 2 billion users monthly. Unlike the finding arrived by this study, Nugroho et al. (2020) found that OmegaT and Google Classroom are perceived the appropriate tools in the situation of translation course, which means tutors of translation courses should not stick to certain tools. They should look for what is effective in achieving the objectives of the course. As for the Faculty's opinion on their need for training/guidelines for preparing for online courses, the analysis revealed their need for training in offering training courses, which also was also found by Wei and Chou (2020) and Tsai et al. (2020).

5.2 Faculty perception of computer literacy and online class preparations

7Most of the respondents confirmed that they had computer knowledge and IT skills. This finding was also found by Li and Lee (2016), Gómez-Trigueros (2020), Jin (2020) and Al-Abdullatif and Gameil (2020) that computer literacy is the primary condition for a technology learning environment. On the other hand, the study found that faculty still preferred traditional classes due to their effectiveness. In fact, the traditional class is more preferred, as it depends on face-to-face interaction between the faculty and the students, reflecting positively on the education level and the students' personalities. Therefore, the majority of faculty revealed that preparation for remote teaching is different from face-to-face teaching. The faculty agreed that online teaching of translation courses needs more preparation before class to maximize interaction in remote classes. This interesting finding revealed that teachers need to prepare well when doing online lectures to ensure the effectiveness of the online class and create effective interaction in the online class. As for the online tools' significant effectiveness, the respondents' responses revealed that it is a debatable issue as it is manifested in the value of neutralism. This finding may indicate that the easy use and effectiveness of online tools depend on the experience of the faculty in dealing with online tools. Gómez-Rey et al. (2016) found teachers perceive collaborative learning variables as crucial whereas learners are more concerned with their own learning benefits via OL.

5.3 Faculty's perception of the effectiveness of online teaching of translation courses

The analysis revealed the faculty's relative agreement on the effectiveness of the online tools in teaching translation courses. To be specific, the faculty's responses to whether students in online education excel students of traditional teaching were debatable, as it is reflected in the item's mean score (M = 2.9388, SD = 1.10695). The teachers also agreed that students in traditional teaching outperform students with online education as it is reflected in the mean scores of the sixth item (M = 3.8367, SD = 1.02768).

The faculty were asked whether the learning outcomes are achieved in teaching translation courses online. The faculty's responses revealed the issue is debatable as it is reflected in the mean score (M = 3.7959, SD = 3.7959), which is placed between agreement and neutralism. Of course, it is closer to the agreement, which indicated that a number of faculty agreed that learning outcomes are achieved in online classes. This finding showed that teachers still encounter difficulties in achieving the objectives of the courses via OL. These findings align with Almekhlafy (2020) and Kulal and Nayak (2020). Almekhlafy (2020) found that teachers faced difficulties in conducting online classes due to a lack of proper training and development for doing online classes during the pandemic. (Kulal and Nayak (2020) found that 80% of respondents stated that they did not like the online lecture mode because of the difficulties they experienced.

The analysis also revealed that the faculty encouraged their students to prepare and do their translation tasks at their homes and then discuss the translation problems and challenges students face during online lectures. Furthermore, the faculty were asked to show if they provide feedback on students' translation during the online lecture. The analysis showed that most tutors affirmed that they provided feedback on students' translation assignments. The faculty was asked if they give the students the same time or it depends on the student's level. The results showed that the majority of the respondent provides the students with feedback at the same time. Besides, it was found that the teachers agreed about the efficiency of teaching translation courses online. In this vein, Almekhlafy (2020) found students are comfortable with online classes during the pandemic, but they do not believe that online classes will replace traditional classroom teaching. Scrutinizing these findings shows different views on the effectiveness of OL, which indicates that online has advantages and disadvantages. In so doing, disadvantages should be tackled. OL has great potentials, but they need proper use and development. The Covid-19 outbreak forced the world governments to close the universities to control the virus's spread. Such closure turns traditional teaching to online. Therefore, OL is a promising alternative especially during the Pandemic and so the efforts should be devoted to develop OL and tackle its drawbacks such as lack of direct contact between faculty and students. Based on the results, traditional teaching is more effective than OL, though the situation of the world which is still experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic makes OL an indispensable and effective alternative. An interesting finding founded by Nugroho et al. (2020), who found that the negative perception of OL is ascribed to traditional perception of OL, which shows that the different opinions on OL may be ascribed to their influence by the traditional perception of OL.

5.4 Faculty' perception of time and assignment management

The analysis revealed that the faculty agreed to make their online sessions short. This finding showed that online classes should consider students' attention and ensure their understanding. If the online course is long, the students may get bored and distracted. As for online class preparation, the participants agreed that online classes require more time than traditional courses. Of course, preparation for online courses entails a longer time than regular courses.

Regarding assignments, the faculty agreed that students should do more assignments in OL than traditional classes (Gómez-Trigueros, 2020; Jin, 2020). Remote teaching requires students to do more tasks than conventional classes to ensure students' effective practice. Besides, students' assignments may compensate the students for the lack of direct contact with the tutors. Finally, the analysis showed that the faculty agreed that they should remind and orient students about translation theories and strategies. This finding indicates that teaching translation courses online requires orienting students about translation strategies and theories during online lectures.

5.5 Faculty perception of student challenges during covid-19

The analysis revealed that the faculty found that students faced challenges when attending online classes, which lie in students' struggle to adapt to online classes, lack of direct contact with the faculty, lack of motivation to attend classes and time management. This list of challenges should be considered by translation courses and translation program principals by offering solutions to these challenges.

6. Conclusion

The study investigated the perception of the tutors of translation studies courses regarding teaching translation courses online during the Covid-19 crisis. The study revealed the faculty's attitudes toward the effectiveness of the online teaching in translation courses and the challenges the students encounter in the learning process. The respondents viewed online education as less effective than face-to-face learning. Despite the challenges the students may encounter in OL, online education becomes an established medium of learning in the educational institutions that could achieve the learning outcomes to a large extent. The findings revealed the challenges of OL remain (i.e. the difficulty of adapting to the online environment, the lack of interaction and motivation and data connections), though it an indispensable alternative during Covid-19. Finally, OL could not substitute face-to-face instruction and so the authors recommend blended learning, where combining OL with face-to-face instruction, i.e. face-to-face plus synchronous and asynchronous, which would result in a strong OL environment. Further studies are needed to investigate the issue, following experimental studies to assess the effectiveness of online education against face-to-face interaction.

Demographic information

Variable Classification Frequency
Gender Male 34
Female 15
Age 20–30 4
31–40 20
41–50 19
51–60 3
60 and above 3
Education PhD 38
Master 11
Teaching institution University 46
College 3
Academic rank Full Professor 7
Assoc. Prof 11
Ass. Prof 18
Lecturer 9
Teaching Assistant 4
Teaching level Post Graduate 10
Undergraduate 39

Faculty perception of online training

Questions Answers Frequency (%)
Have you taught online before Covid-19? Yes 34 69
No 15 31
Did you receive training to teach online? Yes 38 78
No 11 22
What are online tools using? Zoom 18 36
Microsoft Teams 18 36
E-Learning Platforms 8 16
Blackboard 5 10
Facebook Meeting 2 4
What is the medium of communication between you and students outside the online class time? WhatsApp 25 51
Teams and Zoom Text and Voice via online Platforms 14 29
Facebook Pages 7 14
Phone Calls 3 6

One-sample test

Test value-2
Item M SD N 95% CI
Lower Upper df Sig
1. You prefer to have training/guidelines for
the preparation of doing online courses
4.53 0.648 49 2.3443 2.7170 48 0.000

Perception of computer literacy and online class preparations

Items M Test value = 2
SD df Sig. (two tailed) 95% confidence interval
of the difference
Lower Upper
You have sufficient computer knowledge and IT skills to conduct your online lectures 4.5714 0.61237 48 0.000 2.3955 2.7473
Preparation for remote teaching are different from the face-to-face teaching 4.6327 0.63554 48 0.000 2.4501 2.8152
Teachers need to do more preparation before class as to maximize interaction in remote classes 4.5102 0.58175 48 0.000 2.3431 2.6773
Online tools are easy to use when giving lectures 3.24 1.392 48 0.000 0.84 1.64
Online lectures are more effective than traditional/live classroom lectures 3.3469 1.36246 48 0.000 2.9556 3.7383

Faculty's perception of the effectiveness of online teaching of translation courses

No. Items Test value = 2
M SD df Sig.
(two tailed)
95% confidence interval of the difference
Lower Upper
1 Translation courses could be taught without direct contact between Faculty and his students. 3.1224 1.37890 48 0.000 0.7264 1.5185
2 Lacking direct contact with students results in low performance of your students? 3.7959 1.18988 48 0.000 1.4541 2.1377
3 Students ask questions or clear doubts during online lectures 3.7551 0.90210 48 0.000 1.4960 2.0142
4 Online learning helps you achieve the learning outcomes of the course syllabuses 3.7959 0.84112 48 0.000 1.5543 2.0375
5 Students with online learning courses could outperform students with traditional teaching in translation studies 2.9388 1.10695 48 0.000 0.6208 1.2567
6 Students with traditional teaching outperform students with online learning in translation studies 3.8367 1.02768 48 0.000 1.5416 2.1319
7 Students' participation in online translation classes reflect their performance 3.6122 0.99617 48 0.000 1.3261 1.8984
8 You encourage students to prepare translation tasks at home, and then you discuss it with them during the online lectures 4.0612 0.77482 48 0.000 1.8387 2.2838
9 You are able to know the individual differences between the students? 3.9184 0.88593 48 0.000 1.6639 2.1728
10 You provide feedback on students' translation during the class 4.0816 0.81232 48 0.000 1.8483 2.3150
11 You provide feedback on students' translation assignments 4.1224 0.75368 48 0.000 1.9060 2.3389
12 All students get feedback at the same time. 4.1020 0.82272 48 0.000 1.8657 2.3384

Faculty' perception of time and assignment management

Items Test value = 2
M SD df Sig.
(two tailed)
95% confidence interval of the difference
Lower Upper
It is better to keep your remote classes short or as a series of short sessions] 4.3878 0.63954 48 0.000 2.2041 2.5715
The online environment simply takes more time than a face-to-face class to be effective 4.2449 0.87870 48 0.000 1.9925 2.4973
Remote teaching entails requiring students to do more frequent assignments 4.1429 0.84163 48 0.000 1.9011 2.3846
Irrespective of the mode of delivery, teaching Translation courses online needs orientating students about translation theories, strategies and methods at the start of the course 4.3673 0.78246 48 0.000 2.1426 2.5921

Faculty perception on student challenges during Covid-19

Items Test Value = 2
M SD df Sig.
(two tailed)
95% confidence interval of the difference
Lower Upper
It is a struggle to adapt to remote teaching 3.6667 1.20872 47 0.000 1.3157 2.0176
There is a lack of direct contact with the teachers and classmates 3.9796 0.96803 48 0.000 1.7015 2.2576
Time management of remote teaching is an issue 3.7917 1.27092 47 0.000 1.4226 2.1607
Lack of self-motivation is an issue 3.8163 1.20197 48 0.000 1.4711 2.1616

References

Al-Abdullatif, A. and Gameil, A. (2020), “Exploring students’ knowledge and practice of digital citizenship in higher education”, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, Vol. 15 No. 19, pp. 122-142.

Al-Batineh, M., Al-Muhaisen, B. and Al-Ramadan, R. (2021), “Towards an eLearning platform for translator training: getting stakeholders involved”, The Arab Journal for Arts, Vol. 7 No. 19, pp. 321-344.

Almekhlafy, S. (2020), “Online learning of english language courses via blackboard at Saudi universities in the era of COVID-19: perception and use”, PSU Research Review, doi: 10.1108/PRR-08-2020-0026.

Baker, M. (2011), In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, Routledge, New York.

Bromberg, J. and Irina, J. (2010) “Trends in court interpreter training”, Multilingual, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 35-39.

De Winter, J. and Dodou, D. (2010), “Five-point likert items: t test versus Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon. Practical assessment”, Research and Evaluation, Vol. 15 No. 11, pp. 1-16.

Deng, M. (2016), “Research on the development condition of functional translation theory and the applications on modern english translation practice”, Social Science, Education and Human Science.

Dirani, K. and Yoon, S. (2009), “Exploring open distance learning at a jordanian university: a case study”, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Vol. 10 No. 2.

Dorothy, K. (2007), “Translation memories and parallel corpora: challenges for the translation trainer”, in Dorothy, K. and Kyongjoo, R. (Eds), Across Boundaries: International Perspectives on Translation Studies, Cambridge Scholars Publishing,Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 192-208.

Ehlers, U.D. and Pawlowski, J.M. (Eds) (2006), Handbook on Quality and Standardisation in e-Learning, Springer Science and Business Media.

Faber, P. (2012), “A cognitive linguistics view of terminology and specialized language”, Walter de Gruyter, p. 20.

Felege, C. and Olson, M. (2015), “Online education: faculty perceptions and recommendations”, Focus on Colleges, Universities, and Schools, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 1-9.

Garcia, I. (2013), “Learning a language for free while translating the web. Does duolingo work?”, International Journal of English Linguistics, Vol. 3 No. 1, p. 19.

Gómez-Rey, P., Barbera, E. and Fernández-Navarro, F. (2016), “Measuring teachers and learners’ perceptions of the quality of their online learning experience”, Distance Education, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 146-163.

Gómez-Trigueros, I. (2020), “Digital teaching competence and space competence with TPACK in social sciences”, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, Vol. 15 No. 19, pp. 37-52.

Gorozhanov, A., Kosichenko, E. and Guseynova, I. (2018), “Teaching written translation online: theoretical model, software development, interim results”, SHS Web of Conferences, EDP Sciences, Vol. 50 Nos 1/7, doi: 10.1051/shsconf/20185001062.

Gümüş, V.Y. (2017), “Training translators for the market in Turkey: what should we teach to future translators?”, International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-10.

Haider, A.S. and Al-Salman, S. (2020), “Dataset of jordanian university students’ psychological health impacted by using e-learning tools during COVID-19”, Data in Brief, Vol. 32, p. 106104.

Hancock, R. Swann, W. Marr, A. Turner, J. and Cable, C. (2002), “Classroom assistants in primary schools: Employment and deployment”.

Harpe, S. (2015), “How to analyze likert and other rating scale data?”, Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, Vol. 7 No. 6, pp. 836-850.

Ismail, S., Alsager, H.N. and Omar, A. (2019), “The implications of online translation courses on instructors’ philosophy of teaching”, Arab World English Journal, No. 5, pp. 176 -189.

Jin, X. (2020), “Application of computer in online teaching of professional courses”, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, Vol. 15 No. 19, pp. 53-65.

Kulal, A. and Nayak, A. (2020), “A study on perception of teachers and students toward online classes in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district”, Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 285-296.

Li, L.Y. and Lee, L.Y. (2016), “Computer literacy and online learning attitude toward GSOE students in distance education programs”, Higher Education Studies, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 147-156.

Majdoubeh, A. (2020), “E-learning for extraordinary times”, available at: www.jordantimes.com/opinion/ahmad-y-majdoubeh/e-learning-extraordinary-times

Martín-Blas, T. and Serrano-Fernández, A. (2009), “The role of new technologies in the learning process: moodle as a teaching tool in physics”, Computers and Education, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 35-44.

Mazohl, P. and Makl, H. (2016), “Technology enhanced teaching”, Seville: ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 3366-3373, available at: https://library.iated.org/view/MAZOHL2016TEC

Munday, J. (2016), Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications, Routledge.

Nugroho, R., Basari, A., Suryaningtyas, V. and Cahyono, S. (2020), “University students’ perception of online learning in Covid-19 pandemic: a case study in a translation course”, International Seminar on Application for Technology of Information and Communication (iSemantic), Semarang, pp. 225-231.

Qassem, M. (2020), “EFL students’ perception of the role of teaching novels in enhancing writing skills”, Global Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 224-239.

Robinson, B.J., Olvera Lobo, M.D. and Gutiérrez-Artacho, J. (2017), “The professional approach to translator training revisited”.

Roziner, I. and Shlesinger, M. (2010), “Much ado about something remote: stress and performance in remote interpreting”, Interpreting. International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 214-247.

Saadeh, D. and Al-Karimi, Q. (2009), “Blended e-learning approach at the university of Jordan”, In The 4th International Conference on Information Technology (ICIT’09) Conference Proceedings Book, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan.

Shiyab, S.M. (2017), “Specialized translation: shedding the ‘Non-Literary’ tag”, Babel. Revue Internationale de la Traduction/International Journal of Translation, Vol. 62 No. 4, pp. 686-687.

Statista (2020), “Social media stats in Jordan – June 2020”, available at: https://gs.statcounter.com/socialmedia-stats/all/jordan

Stern, J. (2020), “Introduction to online learning”, available at: www.wlac.edu/online/documents/otl.pdf

Tsai, C., Cho, Rose, M. and Shen, D. (2020), “The self-efficacy questionnaire for online learning (SeQoL)”, Distance Education, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 472-489.

UN (2020), “Covid-19 pandemic created largest disruption of education in history, affecting 1.6 billion students: UN SG guterres”, available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/Covid-19-pandemic-created-largest-disruption-of-education-in-history-affecting-1-6-billion-students-un-sg-guterres/articleshow/77344094.cms

UNESCO (2020), “Distance learning solutions”, [Online], available at: https://en.unesco.org/Covid-19/educationresponse/solutions, (accessed September 20)

Wei, H. and Chou, C. (2020), “Online learning performance and satisfaction: do perceptions and readiness matter?”, Distance Education, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 48-69.

World Bank Group (2021), “Three principles to support teacher effectiveness during covid-19”, [Online], available at: http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/331951589903056125/pdf/Three-Principles-to-Support-Teacher-Effectiveness-During-COVID-19.pdf

Wright, K. (2005), “Researching internet-based populations: advantages and disadvantages of online survey research”, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 10 No. 3, p. JCMC1034.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their thanks to all the participants of the study.

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Zakaryia Almahasees can be contacted at: z_almhasees@asu.edu.jo

About the authors

Zakaryia Almahasees is an Assistant Professor of Translation at the Department of English Language and Translation at Applied Science Private University, Jordan. He earned PhD in Translation Studies from The University of Western Australia, Australia (2020). His research interests include Translation Theories, Translation Evaluation, Comparative Translation and Machine Translation.

Mutahar Qassem is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies at Najran University. His research interests are translation and culture and technological perspective of translation. His research studies appear in Asia Pacific Translation and Cultural Studies, Journal of Psycholinguistic Research and Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics.

Related articles