Limitations and Challenges of Online Teaching at Higher Education Institutions in Oman

Higher education institutions have opted for online teaching due to COVID-19 Pandemic as delivering classes online was the only available option to continue their teaching and learning activities. Higher education institutions were found to be more dynamic during their utilization of electronic platforms in delivering their activities and due to the unclarity of COVID, it seems that online teaching and learning will remain a crucial part of higher education due to its flexibility, accessibility, and convenience. However, to determine whether online teaching is the best choice for higher education institutions, it’s imperative to shed some light on the challenges and limitations of teaching online to enable institutions in Oman to decide on the future of their teaching and learning activities. Therefore, this study intends to examine the limitations and challenges of online teaching in Oman. The study data was collected by employing a questionnaire survey and distributed to all higher education institutions in Oman. We have received responses from a total of 25 higher education institutions that have participated in the study of which 12 are private universities representing 48%, 9 are public private colleges accounting for 36%, and 4 are university colleges accounting for 16%. The study revealed that the challenges faced by HEIs were student participation and active involvement, evaluation of performance, absenteeism, and insufficient knowledge of the use of online tools, and technologies both by instructors and students. Some of the limitations identified in using technological tools for teaching and learning were the efficiency of internet connectivity which disrupts the teaching engagement, restricted access to some of the technological tools, ineffective ways to gauge academic integrity, and inability to exhibit the capabilities and skills of learners.