Teachers’ Perspective on the Impact of Online Education to Students’ Learning

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Afnan Nizam
Fathimath Saeed

Abstract

The recent, sudden school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced school teachers to quickly transfer their face-to-face teaching to online teaching platforms and to support all of their students remotely, revolutionizing the concept of K-12 learning using digital online technology. Physically being present in a classroom environment, five days a week, may not be the only option to acquire formal school education, in the future, as was modelled by Maldivian schools during the pandemic, using a blended approach to learning, whenever each island community was not in full lockdown. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the factors that contributed to a successful online learning environment and to identify teachers’ perspectives about online education and its impact on secondary students’ performance. Data for this study was collected by using semi-structured interviews with twelve teachers in a public secondary school in Male’. The interviews were conducted through an online platform due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This paper describes how these teachers created online learning environments and the strategies they used to support students’ learning. The findings of this study demonstrated that some teachers had used self-regulated online learning themselves, to develop their competency for online teaching and to learn how to use educational technology effectively. However, individual teacher competencies did not lead to effective collaborative learning among teachers or to team teaching within the school. Many teachers did not conduct online collaborative learning among their students. The home digital environment and living conditions for many children need to improve for them to engage and to achieve through online learning. A recurring theme was the high cost of internet connectivity and unaffordability by parents and schools, preventing collaborative learning.

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