Volume 9 Issue 3 (2020)

Views and Evaluations of University Students about Distance Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

pp. 185-198  |  Published Online: October 2020  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2020.93.5

Ahmet Sahbaz

Abstract

In recent years, technological devices and the Internet have become an integral part of our lives, changing many of our habits and daily routines. This change became more rapid and intense during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic when countries compulsorily locked down their populations in an attempt to impede or halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. In order to continue their education, students stayed at home and were required instead to study online using a computer or a mobile device such as a smartphone. According to UNESCO (n.d.), “more than 1.5 billion students are or have been affected by school and university closures during this period.” As a result, distance education has become the “new normal” of the educational system. Prior to the pandemic, many studies had been conducted regarding the opinions and attitudes of university students toward distance education; however, publications on this subject since the beginning of the pandemic are still very new. Indeed, the current study aimed to reveal the views and evaluations of university students towards distance education since the beginning of the pandemic. This qualitative study was carried out at the Turcology Department of Tuzla University in the Bosnia Herzegovina Federation. A questionnaire comprised of 12 open-ended questions was used to collect the data, which was then analyzed using the conventional content analysis approach. From the results of the study, it can be concluded that almost 90% of the participants were against distance education, but firm supporters of face-to-face education.

Keywords: COVID-19, distance education, online education, face-to-face education, Turcology

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