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Emergency Distance Education in the Conditions of COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience of Ukrainian Universities

Published: 20 July 2021
 by  MDPI
Education Sciences , Volume 11; doi:10.3390/educsci11070364

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in education worldwide throughout 2020. In Ukraine, the preparedness for this process was different. There were various technical problems such as the absence of Internet connection, computers, or educational materials on the network, and most importantly, the unpreparedness of teachers to perform distance learning. From 28 April to 8 May 2020 at the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University (Dnipro, Ukraine), students were surveyed on the quality of distance learning organized during the quarantine period. A total of 1224 students from almost all faculties and centers took part in the survey and answered 19 questions in an online form developed in Office 365 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA). The survey algorithm is based on the principle of cross-validation. According to the survey, the most important opportunities of distance (digital) learning are as follows: the opportunity to study in a convenient place, in a comfortable and familiar environment—28.57%; the opportunity to combine work with study—16.97%; the development of self-control skills and motivation to self-educate—16.43%; and the technical level of the learning process (use of information technologies)—13.83%. The aspects that negatively affect the organization of full-scale distance learning are as follows: the large volume of tasks—16.80%; the rapid fatigue due to prolonged work in front of a computer—16.35%; the absence of necessary equipment and/or constant (stable) access to the Internet—15.33%. In conclusion, ways to overcome the difficulties of distance learning, both by universities and by the government, are suggested.
Keywords: distance learning / COVID-19 pandemic / psychological barrier / technical barrier / student

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