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Online teaching during COVID-19 pandemic in Fiji: challenges, facilitators and improvement strategies

Eunice Okyere (Department of Public Health, College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences - Tamavua Campus, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji)
Mosese Salusalu (College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences - Tamavua Campus, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji)
Ramneek Goundar (College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences - Tamavua Campus, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji)
Kissinger Marfoh (College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences - Tamavua Campus, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji) (Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 9 September 2022

Issue publication date: 4 January 2023

123

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore online teaching experiences of educators in Fiji National University (FNU). Although they quickly adapted to online teaching, their experiences are yet to be explored and documented, hence the relevance of this study.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used phenomenological research design to understand the lived experiences of participants' regarding online teaching. A total of 58 in-depth interviews were conducted among educators, at various levels and analysed thematically using an inductive approach.

Findings

The findings show online teaching challenges including difficulties maintaining students' engagement, teaching practically oriented courses, assessing students and embracing change, limited knowledge impact and output, anxiety and stress, inadequate teaching environment, increased workload and unstable Internet. The facilitators and enablers were flexibility, free Internet, creating conducive environment, Moodle training, skills acquisition and support from faculty members' and information technology team. Recommendations for improvement ranged from modifying course outline, summarising previous lessons, reducing course load, adequate assessment tools, incentives, guidelines enforcement to regular training.

Originality/value

This is an original work carried out by the researchers in a specific context. The findings suggest the need to address various challenges for effective online teaching. School managers' and relevant key stakeholders need to understand educators’ teaching experiences as well as their recommended improvement strategies, to enhance online teaching.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This work was supported by the Fiji National University, Seed Funding under award no. GS011.

Citation

Okyere, E., Salusalu, M., Goundar, R. and Marfoh, K. (2023), "Online teaching during COVID-19 pandemic in Fiji: challenges, facilitators and improvement strategies", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 62-82. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-03-2022-0041

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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