New Student Literacies amid COVID-19: International Case Studies: Volume 41

Cover of New Student Literacies amid COVID-19: International Case Studies
Subject:

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-viii
Content available

Part I: South Asian Countries

Abstract

The world has seen a lot of disasters which have affected some part of the globe and healed in due course but rarely has any health disaster affected the entire world like COVID-19. It not only affected the health sector but caused a downward spiral of the world economy. The world was not prepared to face such a magnitude of the disaster. Overnight, schools and universities declared a lockdown affecting 1.57 billion students in 191 countries (UN, 2020). The sudden closure of educational institutions negatively impacted education around the world and much of the education sector shifted to remote learning. This exacerbated the shortcomings of those institutions who were unprepared for the sudden shift to remote learning. The global pandemic triggered the need to reconceptualize how educational institutions provision teaching and learning. Universities resorted to intensive use of different technology platforms and resources to achieve their learning outcomes. This volume explores how educational institutions needed to rethink teaching, learning, research and innovation, and implement innovative approaches to address such complexities. International case studies have been compiled that highlight the issues related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education and how different countries tried to cope with the sudden shift of remote learning and tried to resolve challenges around the issues of digital pedagogy.

Abstract

Covid-19 pandemic has affected all sectors in the economy. Among them, education sector is one of the most influenced fields. This chapter presents a case of a faculty in a state university in Sri Lanka which underwent a transformation toward online teaching, learning, and assessment mode with the Covid-19 pandemic. The unexpected conversion to online mode impacted many parties, and among them, the lecturers and students were mostly affected within universities. The author explored the perception of students and lecturers on this unexpected compulsory transformation and identified how they perceive this new normal in teaching, learning, and assessment. In addition, the benefits and challenges faced, and the pre and post views on online experience were also studied. An online survey with students and a series of interviews with lecturers were exercised for data collection. The views that students have on online learning were different among the various study program levels, and the benefits and challenges faced by the different student groups also varied. Further, the lecturers had different perceptions on teaching the different level programs and subjects. These aspects are discussed in detail throughout the chapter, and at the end, suggestions for making the online mode more effective are presented.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on higher education (HE) across the globe, including in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi HE system is going through an abrupt transition and transformation to cope with the crisis. This chapter is based on data collected from teachers and students of Bangladeshi public and private HE institutions regarding teaching and learning during the COVID-19 lockdown. In Bangladesh, some universities switched to online distance teaching and learning quickly during this period, and others lagged behind in this regard. Teachers and students from both groups of public and private universities participated in the study, including those who attended online teaching and learning activities and those who did not participate. This chapter highlights both teachers’ and students’ perspectives regarding students’ future preparedness for participating fully in the changing landscape of HE, especially technology-enhanced teaching and learning. Understanding these perspectives of teachers and students is important to address the digital divide and social justice issues in the policy and practice. Within the HE sector in Bangladesh, it is especially vital while transforming its education system and adapting emerging technologies to address the challenges of education in future emergencies.

Abstract

COVID-19 has shown its pandemic powers to the whole world. At times when many countries are forced to go for total lockdown of its economic activities, unusual economic crisis is inevitable. Amid all the crisis, the impact on education sector was also massive. In India also COVID-19 has resulted in a country-wide lockdown, which led to closure of schools and colleges. University Grant Commission, an apex educational body has come up with several guidelines for higher education institution. This study is an attempt to understand the perceptions of Indian tertiary students toward online teaching which has become the no-other-choice method of instruction for educational institutes during the pandemic. An online survey was conducted in October 2020, to collect information from the students through Google form about their perceptions and experiences with online learning. A total of 248 students completed the survey. Factor analysis has been applied on the collected data to understand the factors which most impacted the students. Results showed that “less effectiveness,” “stress and boredom” and “connectivity challenges” were among the major challenges faced by these students in their online learning experience. This study urges the need for an educational strategy to be set by policy makers to respond to the challenges encoutered during online learning.

Abstract

The battle to fight and resist the COVID-19 virus continues worldwide and even the vaccination drive is failing to control the new strains of viruses which are resulting in death and disruption of a normal life. The higher education sector, like others, has been affected by billions of students unable to return to their campus life. Universities have been forced to scale up their online learning ability, try out new and effective learning management systems and train their faculty and staff members to teach and operate remotely. This has led to a financial strain on the higher education institution with dwindling enrollment and student mobility. Afghanistan’s vulnerable and fragile higher education system, fraught with war and internal strife, has suffered a huge setback. Electricity and access to the internet is a perilous problem and with the additional burden of students studying online, both providers of utility services and educational institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to face the unprecedented demand. This chapter aims to highlight such issues that are plaguing the already uncertain future of this country – even when the presence of the COVID-19 virus was unheard of. Qualitative interview method was used to gather data from the officials from the Ministry of Higher Education, faculty members from different universities and students from various provinces who voiced their opinion and hardships that they are facing in the current pandemic situation. The data were analyzed to suggest possible outcomes and recommendations were based on the data collected.

Part II: Mena Region, Africa and Europe

Abstract

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic took institutions of learning and the workplaces by surprise. Offering online learning was an alternative for institutions of higher learning. Were the Kenyan institutions adequately prepared for this? The present study had three specific objectives: (a) to establish the status of policy preparedness of online teaching and learning in Kenyan universities; (b) to explore the infrastructural preparedness of the universities; and (c) to find out the level of competency preparedness of lecturers and students in embracing the facilities for online teaching and learning. The study had an embedded mixed method research design. Data were gathered using an online questionnaire, from 112 lecturers and 372 students, who were conveniently sampled, representing 34 universities and university colleges. Findings suggest that almost all represented institutions have a policy on online teaching and learning, though 50% of participants’ report that the policy did not exist prior to the onset of COVID-19. On the level of infrastructural preparedness, the personal ownership of digital devices among participants is very impressive, though 50% of institutions do not provide any device. Thirdly, the level of competency in the use of the three sets of online platforms for teaching and learning is far below the expected average, but this is improving since the onset of COVID-19. Lecturers have statistically more perceived competence than students (p<0.01). The implication of these results is discussed. And we conclude that the period of forced online teaching and learning need not be considered as a stop-gap measure during COVID-19, but as a way forward for improved self-learning and lifelong learning.

Abstract

Distance education (DE) is neither a new concept nor process. Learning through postal correspondence can be traced back to more than 150 years. The avenues of DE have evolved from postal correspondence, videotaped lessons, electronic communications, to distance teaching higher education institutes. Up until the start of 2020, DE was an educational process of choice or preference. However, when WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic in March 2020, DE was no longer an option but rather the only choice and educational avenue for the majority of the universities worldwide; Lebanon is no exception. This chapter considered the case study of DE at Phoenicia University, Lebanon, studying instructors’ attitudes and perceptions about some of the quality attributes of DE such as interactivity, inclusiveness, and immediacy prior to and after their first online semester. A mixed methods approach was adopted, where pre- and post-test surveys were administered with 54 instructors in Spring 2020. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 instructors toward the end of that semester. This study found that the participants held a more positive stance when it came to instructor immediacy following their first online semester. On the contrary, instructors’ attitudes and perceptions toward interactivity and inclusiveness did not significantly change between the pre- and post-test results, maintaining a less favorable stance of DE for these particular attributes in comparison to physical classroom education. The study concluded that overall, participants perceived DE as an efficient approach given the unprecedented crisis; nonetheless, the effectiveness of such an approach was challenged by many obstacles and limitations due to internet connection issues and the unreliable power infrastructure.

Abstract

Applying digital literacy skills in face-to-face or online classrooms started ringing the changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months. Stating the obvious, well-planned distant learning experiences are different from courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster. Every institution around the world has worked on preserving instruction throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent to which educators being aware of their own and their students’ digital literacy skills perceived how and what kind of information and communication technologies are used under such an emergency remote teaching and learning. The preparedness level of learners in using online information and communication technologies is a naturally regulated phenomenon because they are born to live a life of technology. Yet, educators have applied experience, and practical knowledge in face-to-face classroom settings remains a mere curiosity to remote teaching. This study was conducted to investigate educators’ level of preparedness to use online information and communication technologies for their emergency remote teachings and their experiences from the field by focusing on moderating variables – asserted by Means, Bakia, and Murphy (2014) – like modality, instructor role online, online communication synchrony, source of feedback, and role of online assessments. Based on self-report scaled and open-ended questions in the same questionnaire, the participants were recruited online via convenience and accidental sampling, and the data were analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 22.0 and thematic analysis. Within this study, how educators experience remote teaching during the global pandemic and what they prefer to carry out for the same effectiveness of the courses are discussed based on their digital literacy skills and digital readiness.

Abstract

March 30, 2020 is a day of qualitative changes in the Lithuanian education system. This day in history – at least in the history of education – will record the day when mass distance learning began in the entire Lithuanian education system. All educational activities from kindergarten to higher and adult education were organized at a distance. In fact, the idea of distance learning was not so new in Lithuania. The first steps in developing a distance learning system in Lithuania were taken 25 years ago, but before the pandemic, it was more the exception than the norm and, of course, it had never been global. But in Spring 2020, all educational institutions (in general education during 2 weeks, in higher – even only during 2–3 days) were transformed from contact to distance learning. From a few-month perspective, it can be said that, despite all the circumstances, this transformation has been quite successful. In order to better understand the reasons for this quite sufficiently successful transition, it would be worthwhile to briefly review the organization of distance learning in Lithuania until the 2020 pandemic.

Abstract

Hungarian school communities also faced with the challenging situation posed by COVID-19 in March 2020. The transition to emergency remote teaching could be affected by many factors. The attitudes of educators are important as their decisions largely determined the methods of digital education. In the present study, 147 high school teachers and 58 academics’ data were analyzed. Academics were more likely to maintain interactions during their courses, and they preferred to make their own material for the lessons, while high-school teachers more often borrow material from pre-existing sources. The authors also found that the effect of self-efficacy on resilience is mediated through the intention to create teaching materials and through the willingness to adopt them as well. It can be concluded that the assistance cannot be one-dimensional, as teachers of different ages, with different IT competencies, teaching at different levels of education, teaching different subjects, have different needs and need to be supported in different ways.

Name Index

Pages 177-184
Content available

Subject Index

Pages 185-190
Content available
Cover of New Student Literacies amid COVID-19: International Case Studies
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641202141
Publication date
2021-12-07
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-80071-467-0
eISBN
978-1-80071-466-3
Book series ISSN
2055-3641