Synchronized Online Learning during COVID-19 Outbreak: An Exploration of the University Students Experiences and Challenges
The recent COVID-19 global pandemic has created the largest disruptions in carrying out educational activities throughout the world. As a result of this unprecedented situation posed by COVID-19, educational institutions at all levels have been forced to take concerted efforts to maintain learning continuity by offering new possibilities of knowledge acquisition and transfer to students, predominantly using online or distance learning mode. In this paper, we present how university students experienced online learning mode and what major challenges, if any, students faced while learning from remote locations. The data were collected using semi-structured individual and focus-group interviews with ten students (residing in different countries including Azerbaijan, China, Ecuador, India, Pakistan, and the USA) who were enrolled in a synchronous online learning courses being offered by three different well-renowned universities in China. The analysis indicates that students’ general views were favorable with online learning mode during the pandemic. However, several challenges have been reported besides opportunities for online classes, which have been found and analyzed in the study. The conducted study intends to aid further studies, helping to improve the management of online learning at universities, as well as for teachers and the students.