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Online teaching during the pandemic

Dr Fayyaz Quereshi, Sarwar Khawaja and Tayyaba Zia of Oxford Business College have co-authored a study looking at how mature students experienced online learning during the pandemic. The study, published in the European Journal of Education Studies, is available to read now.

Lockdown and social distancing regulations have meant that since the start of the pandemic, educational institutions across the world have moved to online platforms to allow students to continue learning.

It’s now important for schools, colleges and universities to review how mature students have responded to digital education tools, in order to understand how this new trend is affecting them, and what changes can be made to improve the learning experience.

In this study, the authors created a questionnaire aimed at mature undergraduate students. 95% of respondents were using online teaching for the first time, ensuring that the results addressed the specific issues affecting those new to digital learning.

Among the key results, the study found that the majority of students were excited by online tuition, and would like to continue learning online in some form after the pandemic. According to the authors, students said that “online teaching … provides ease and convenience, no travelling time and cost, freedom and autonomy.”

In considering what changes could be made going forward, the authors concluded that more can be done to improve training, so that students feel more confident using online learning tools. They also note that higher education institutions should take steps to address challenges such as poor internet connectivity and outdated hardware (ie old laptops or computers) in order to optimise the experience.

The authors, Dr Fayyaz Quereshi, Sarwar Khawaja and Tayyaba Zia, represent Oxford Business College. The College quickly adopted online learning technology at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, giving the authors valuable insights into the rollout and development of digital education solutions.

Given the ongoing popularity of remote learning practices, the College is continuing to focus on how to ensure that digital learning can be a positive and productive experience for mature students.

To read the full study, go to https://oapub.org/edu/index.php/ejes/article/view/3440/6076.