Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Online Learning during pandemic period COVID – 19 (Iraqi case)

Dr. Aziza Kavlu,

Faculty of Education, TISHK International University, Erbil-Iraq

 [email protected]

Introduction – The pandemic period COVID – 19 has disrupted the education process in all (private and public) educational institutions in the KRG region of Iraq. According to the Higher Ministry of Education decision, educational institutions had to shift to the online learning platform.

Purpose – To continue the education and keep academic activities going in order to enable students to complete the 2019-20 academic year, most educational institutions (especially private) have shifted to distance, online, and e-learning. This paper explores students’ views of online learning.

Method – After 9 weeks of online learning, an observational study was conducted and a self-administrated questionnaire was used for data collection to investigate the perceptions of 2nd grade undergraduate students of the Faculty of Education. One hundred and seventy-six students completed the study and express their opinion, to highlight the problems they faced and advantages they benefited from during the pandemic period online teaching of Spring term – 2019-20 Academic Year.

Results – The study results show that most Faculty of Education students don’t prefer online education and the main problems that they experienced related to technical, communication, the impossibility of practical sessions, lack of objective assessment (high possibility of cheating, have someone else do assignments and exams) and academic challenges. On the other hand, some advantages were reported as: online learning allowed students to study at their own pace, time, and place, not having problems with accommodation, transportation, gave the opportunity to realize the importance of self-motivation, sense of responsibility, enabled students to have a higher level of accountability for their own learning.

 Conclusions – Consequently, as the pandemic continues sharing the findings of this study can help educators and the management of the university to have more effective planning to improve the online education process during COVID 19, 20, and post-pandemic periods.  

Keywords: Students’ Perceptions, Online Learning, pandemic period COVID – 19