The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Comparison of COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts on Teaching at the International, National and Institutional Level: A Case from Croatia

Goran Bubaš, University of Zagreb (Croatia)


After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February and March 2020 numerous studies have been published on students’ experiences regarding e-learning and their comparison of participation in traditional face-to-face instruction with online teaching and learning. Some of the experiences of higher education students with online teaching and learning during a two-year period of the COVID-19 pandemic are presented in this paper according to (1) international surveys, (2) surveys performed at the state level in Croatia, and also (3) at the level of a one higher education institution from the north-western part of Croatia. The results of this study indicate that at the international level (Doolan et al., 2021; Aristovnik et al., 2000), as many as 93% of students in Europe and 86.7% of students globally experienced cancellation of their on-site (face to face) classes and that for most of the surveyed students the on-site classes were substituted with real-time (synchronous) online video conferences. The two other most frequent means for replacing on-site lecturing were sending presentations to the students and asynchronous video recordings of lectures. According to the international surveys the average rating of satisfaction with online lectures appeared to be rather satisfactory (around 3 on a 1-5 point scale). However, according to a large survey performed in the U.S.A. (Chirikov et al., 2020; Soria et al., 2020), about half of the surveyed students reported that they didn’t adequately adapt to remote instruction and that in the environment of remote learning most of them were faced with various obstacles like lack of motivation and interaction with other students. In September 2021 a survey was performed on the students at higher education institutions in Croatia (Đorđević, 2021) and this survey revealed that in the academic year 2021/2022 a total of 35% of participants listed on site (face to face) classroom instruction as the preferred form of teaching, but also that as many as 29% of them preferred entirely online teaching. The surveyed students also expressed satisfaction with the possibility to access teaching materials remotely from home (73%), regarding their interaction with teachers in a virtual environment (60%) and with criteria and methods of online student assessment (63%). At the institutional level of one higher education institution in the north-western part of Croatia two identical surveys were performed at the end of the winter semester of academic years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022. The results revealed an increase in the average rating of students’ satisfaction with the remote teaching that was performed online, as well as of interestingness of online teaching. Also, in the academic year 2021/2021 more teachers were evaluated as being good in their use of IT tools and techniques in online teaching.

Keywords: Covid-19, E-learning, Impact

[1] Aristovnik, A.; Keržič, D.; Ravšelj, D.; Tomaževič, N.; Umek, L. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Life of Higher Education Students: A Global Perspective. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8438.
[2] Chirikov, I., Soria, K. M, Horgos, B., & Jones-White, D. (2020). Undergraduate and Graduate Students’ Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic. UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education.
[3] Doolan, K., Barada, V., Burić, I., Krolo, K., Tonković, Ž. (2021). Student life during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: Europe-wide insights, European Students’ Union (ESU).
[4] Đorđević, M., Plužarić, Ž., Bišćan, I. (2021). Studenti i pandemija: Kako smo (pre)živjeli?  Agency for Science and Higher Education, Croatia.
[5] Soria, K. M., Chirikov, I., & Jones-White, D. (2020). The obstacles to remote learning for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education.


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