The Approach of Academicians to Distance Education During COVID-19: Challenges and Expectations

The Approach of Academicians to Distance Education During COVID-19: Challenges and Expectations

Yusuf Akkoca
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9235-9.ch012
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The education community, accustomed to the face-to-face education system, had to switch to the distance education system with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was inevitable for educators who had not experienced distance education to prepare themselves in a short time and to complete the process with the least damage. Of course, there were many negativities during distance education and the whole world gained certain experiences during this time. In this study, the problems experienced by the academic staff using distance education applications, their approaches to distance education, how much they have improved themselves in other possible problems in the future, and what they expect from distance education have been examined. Thematic analysis was used as a research design; articles, theses, books, reports of official institutions and organizations were examined; and the concepts that emerged during distance education applications were divided according to categories by using descriptive and thematic analysis.
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The Covid 19 pandemic, which emerged in December 2019 and was declared a pandemic in March 2020 (WHO, 2020a), has deeply affected the education sector as well as every sector, and with physical contact being the most important factor in spreading the virus, education and training activities have to be done remotely. The high level of contagiousness of the virus was also effective in this transition (Chen et al., 2020; Gupta & Goplani, 2020). It is stated that 770 million learners worldwide are affected by the closure of educational institutions (Zhong, 2020). In Turkey, this number is close to 25 million, of which 7 million are in higher education (UNESCO, 2020b). It is said that the most affected sector after the health sector is the education sector (Oranburg, 2020; Telli-Yamamoto & Altun, 2020). With the sudden closure of schools, many educational institutions were caught unprepared for this situation (Hossain, 2020), they tried to manage the process by urgently putting the existing distance education systems into operation rather than a planned and programmed distance education (Hodges et al., 2020). Before the pandemic, there was a certain level of distance education in many countries. Especially at the higher education level, these trainings were more common. However, it was a huge change that all educational institutions switched to distance education with the pandemic. Such a change, of course, brought many problems with it. Because the capacity of the existing distance education system was at a level to serve up to a certain number of learners. Educational institutions, which do not have any infrastructure problems in the distance education of a small number of learners, had to respond to the needs of all learners at once, and many institutions experienced many disruptions while the infrastructure of many institutions served so many users. It has been observed that many students living in rural areas of China do not have the technological requirements to continue distance education (Lau, Yang & Dasgupta, 2020).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pandemic: Global disease affecting the whole world.

Coronavirus 19: Epidemic disease that started in a small city and affected the whole world.

Academic Staff: Scientist who teaches and researches in higher education.

Distance Education: Realization of teaching by means of technological tools, regardless of time and place.

Thematic Analysis: Detailed examination of a subject from official sources such as books, articles, research reports.

Challenge: Obstacles in front of us while trying to achieve something.

Self-Control: The individual's ability to control himself by knowing his responsibility.

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