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Online classes started in many secondary schools one month after the compulsory closure of all education institutions in Bangladesh. This study explores the current scenario as well as challenges of adaptation of online classes in secondary education in terms of teachers' experience. The study followed sequential exploratory mixed-method approach. Five secondary teachers were interviewed and 54 secondary teachers from 17 districts in Bangladesh were surveyed over telephone, Google forms and by email. The quantitative data was analyzed with Microsoft Excel and the thematic analysis approach had been followed for the qualitative one. The findings revealed that a good number of teachers have started teaching online by using social media platforms despite of not having any training or experience. Very few respondent teachers were found to take online examination; instead they are trying to assess the students from the feedback of given home works and home assignments. Teachers are facing numerous challenges like deficit of digital equipment, lack of expertise, unfamiliarity with the LMS, proficiency in assessment technique etc. The paper concludes with few recommendations such as providing proper devices to the teachers and students to participate in online class; facilitate rigorous training to enhance technology-based skills and capacities of the teachers so as to get the expected outcome.
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Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol.11, No.20, 2020
97
Secondary Education During Lockdown Situation Due to
Covid-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh: Teachers’ Response on Online
Classes
Zeba Farhana 1* Sanjida Akter Tanni2 Sariya Shabnam3 Sabbir Ahmed Chowdhury1
1.Assistant Professor, Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
2.Lecturer, Green University of Bangladesh, Dhaka- 1207, Bangladesh
3.Student, , Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Abstract
Online classes started in many secondary schools one month after the compulsory closure of all education
institutions in Bangladesh. This study explores the current scenario as well as challenges of adaptation of online
classes in secondary education in terms of teachers’ experience. The study followed sequential exploratory
mixed-method approach. Five secondary teachers were interviewed and 54 secondary teachers from 17 districts
in Bangladesh were surveyed over telephone, Google forms and by email. The quantitative data was analyzed
with Microsoft Excel and the thematic analysis approach had been followed for the qualitative one. The findings
revealed that a good number of teachers have started teaching online by using social media platforms despite of
not having any training or experience. Very few respondent teachers were found to take online examination;
instead they are trying to assess the students from the feedback of given home works and home assignments.
Teachers are facing numerous challenges like deficit of digital equipment, lack of expertise, unfamiliarity with
the LMS, proficiency in assessment technique etc. The paper concludes with few recommendations such as
providing proper devices to the teachers and students to participate in online class; facilitate rigorous training to
enhance technology-based skills and capacities of the teachers so as to get the expected outcome.
Keywords: Secondary education, Education in pandemic, Online class, Teachers’ response.
DOI: 10.7176/JEP/11-20-11
Publication date:July 31st 2020
1. Introduction
Government of Bangladesh (GoB)’s lockdown restrictions have resulted in closing down of all schools and
educational institutions in the country since 18 March 2020 (GoB, 2020). As a result, 42 million students are no
longer able to attend school and might be prevented from doing so until September 2020 (Unicef, 2020). Shortly
after schools were closed, GoB started broadcasting pre-recorded secondary level school lessons titled ‘My
School at My Home’ in national television channel with the help of government agency Access to Information
(a2i)’ to assist the school children continue their learning during the pandemic. Besides, GoB also encouraged
and instructed the schools and colleges to initiate online classes for their students (GoB, Directorate of
Secondary and Higher Education, 2020). In response, many secondary schools have started taking online classes
by using available means.
GoB has already established 24,816 multimedia classrooms, provided internet connection to almost 90%
schools and set up multimedia classroom monitoring system (a2i Programme GoB, 2018), but these
infrastructures could not be utilized to take online classes as the schools are closed during lockdown period.
Taking online classes for secondary education are not that easy in a developing country like Bangladesh, because
the technology and equipment required to participate in an online class are not cheap. It requires
availability of technological infrastructures like internet connection, computer with camera and microphone or a
smart phone both for the teachers and students (Habib et al., 2020). 60% people of Bangladesh have access to
internet and 92% of them use mobile network for using internet (BTRC, 2020). But speed of internet varies
widely in urban to rural area (Sohail, 2020). Price of internet and minimum required gadgets for participating in
online classes is also beyond the reach of most of the students in Bangladesh (Azad, 2016).
Online learning is also influenced by computer knowledge of teachers and students, instructional methods
of teachers, administration’s mindset, policy frameworks, and technical assistance (Srichanyachon, 2014). The
quality of teachers and their continuing professional education and training remain central to the achievement of
quality education (Ministry of Education GoB, 2013). Understanding this fact, GoB regularly arranges teachers’
training on ICT (Mamataz, 2017; PMID, 2013). Moreover, Digital Content development has also been
undertaken so that all teachers can collect subject based contents from a single source, for which an official web
portal titled Shikkhok Batayon has been opened (Mamataz, 2017; Ministry of Education GoB, 2013; PMID,
2013; Shikkhok Batayon, 2018). However, taking online class is totally new to most of the secondary teachers in
Bangladesh, because it is absolutely unprecedented. Starting online classes without preparation and proper
pedagogy, it would be less interactive and ineffective. The teachers need to be skilled at ICT in both the
Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol.11, No.20, 2020
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multimedia classes and the online classes. The user of multimedia needs knowledge and experience about it as
well as one or two multimedia software. But in the online class, one needs to know where and how to find
materials, how and when to use it for teaching-learning purposes, how to present educational content in the
online platform, how to use multimedia products and online services in education (Andre & Brink, 2013). Most
of Bangladeshi secondary teachers have never been trained on these issues. With this backdrop, the aim of this
study is to evaluate the responses of the secondary school teachers on taking online classes during lockdown
Situation due to Covid-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh.
2. Purpose and Research Questions of study
The Purpose of the study is to evaluate the response of secondary school teachers in adaptation of online classes
during the lockdown period due to COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. The study evolves in answering the
following research questions:
1. What is the situation of teaching learning activities during COVID-19 emergency?
2. How are secondary school teachers adapting in taking online classes?
3. What are the challenges teachers facing while taking online classes?
3. Methodology
The research framework led us methodologically to design a sequential exploratory mixed method according to
research objectives to explore the phenomena. A survey questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data from
54 teachers of 54 different secondary schools selected randomly from 17 different districts in Bangladesh via
Google forms, emails and mobile phones. The survey questionnaire was divided mainly into two parts, where the
first part dealt with the demographic information of the teachers. The second part was designed to gather
information about their knowledge on ICT, pedagogical application in conducting online class, online
assessment method, their experience and challenges. Qualitative data were collected by in-depth interview over
mobile phone from 05 teachers purposively selected from the above group. Quantitative data was analyzed using
Microsoft Office Excel and thematic analysis was carried out for analyzing qualitative data.
4. Findings
In this following section the findings from the teachers’ survey and interviews had been showed.
4.1 Demographic Data
Table 1. Profile of Surveyed Teachers (N=54)
Variables
Percentage
Gender
Male
52%
Female
48%
Teaching
Experience (years)
<=5
24%
6-10
24%
11-15
20%
16-20
24%
20>
8%
Trained
on ICT
Yes
76%
No
24%
Experience
of Taking Multimedia
Class
Yes
48%
No
52%
Type
of Secondary School
Government
46%
Private
54%
4.2 Secondary Teachers’ Adaptation of Online Classes
Most of the teacher’s attitudes are positive towards taking online classes. Eight seven percent teachers opined
that online classes are necessary during pandemic. In this way, they are getting the opportunity to be engaged to
their studies which will minimize the loss due to closure of schools for such a long period. It is revealed from the
interview that the schools started taking online classes as early as from the 3rd week of April, one month after
the closure of nationwide secondary schools on 18 March 2020. Almost 81% respondent teachers were taking
online classes regularly. Two-thirds of the teachers mentioned that more than 60% students were attending the
online class and that is less than that of the regular class. 59% teachers are using broadband connection and the
rests are relying on cellular data for taking online classes. They are using different electronic gadgets like
computers, laptops, smart phones, speakers, microphones to conduct the online classes. Smart phone is the most
preferred gadgets among the teachers (49%) for taking online class and 37% teachers are using
Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
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Vol.11, No.20, 2020
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computers/laptops. 14% teachers are using microphones/speakers/headphones in the online class.
None of the teachers have any previous experience of taking online classes. However, 76% respondent
teachers had training on ICT arranged either by GoB or their schools or on personal interest. Besides, 48 %
teachers had experience of taking multimedia class in their school. Most of the teachers got one or two week
preparatory time for starting online class preparation. They utilized their previous knowledge of ICT and
acquired further essential knowledge and skill of taking online class from their colleagues, friends, family
members, and personal initiatives by surfing different web platforms like Youtube, Facebook etc. Teacher-1
mentioned, “I have learnt about online class from my children and mostly by taking self-initiative, but Govt and
institutional training can be really effective for us.” Teachers took initiatives to overcome these limitations and
started taking online classes from 3rd week of April 2020. With the passage of time, they kept on improving
their skills on taking online classes. The study found that respondent teachers are using several digital
communicative platforms like Facebook Live, Whatsapp, Zoom and Viber as their instructional media for online
class; details are shown in figure-1.
Figure 1. Usage of digital platforms for online class
4.3 Teaching Methods, Materials and Pedagogy
Teachers are using combinations of different teaching methods such as lecture, discussion, demonstration and
group work to conduct online classes. Among these methods, lecture method is the most popular (65%) as
derived from the responses of teachers. Besides, 48% teachers mentioned that they used demonstration method
and 33% teachers claimed to use discussion method to elaborate their topics. Teachers think discussion is the
most effective teaching methods for secondary students rather than simple lecture. They also seldom used
several teaching aids like images (26%), videos (24%) etc in online class to draw attention of the students. Most
of the teachers mentioned that controlling online class is a bit difficult than controlling traditional classroom as
they cannot talk to the students directly. So, they need to change teaching strategy frequently to make the class
interactive. Some teachers are uploading PowerPoint slides, images, and different web links to their social media
groups beforehand so that the students can acquire prior knowledge on the subject. Teachers opined that such
uploads also help the students, who missed the class. A few teachers (8%) tried to engage the students in various
group works by using online platforms to enhance creative learning. Teacher-3 said, “Sometime I divide my
students in few groups and give them small task to complete group wise. I found my students enjoy the group
works”.
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Figure 2. Teaching aids of online classes
4.4 Assessment Methods
During closure of school, scheduled class test and half early exam could not be arranged due to pandemic. Only
10% respondent teachers are taking online examinations of their students. 46% teachers are trying to assess the
students from the feedback of given home works and home assignments to check student’s improvement.
Teacher-3 explained “Taking online exam is quite difficult as it’s hard to get all the students at the same time to
sit for the examination and it is cumbersome to keep track of the students during the examination”. Teachers
think that regular assessment is important to check students’ progress as well as to keep them involved with the
schooling process.Teacher-5 mentioned, “We encourage our students to submit their homework and assignment
in time so as to keep them involved with the school”.
4.5 Challenges of Online Classes
Teachers are facing numerous challenges while taking online classes. These challenges can be divided in to
following groups:
4.5.1 Internet and Electricity
Slow internet speed (26%), high cost of internet (21%) and frequent power failures (7%) are pointed out as the
challenges of online class. Due to slow internet speed class progression is often slowed down. Teacher-3
mentioned, “Most of the time our classes are interrupted for poor network speed, it is so tiring and depressing to
repeat same content”. Beside, many teachers and students cannot afford to buy internet for schooling purpose
due to their socioeconomic condition. Here, teacher-4 said, “For rural people, internet cost is costlier as the
broadband connection is not available and many families cannot afford it. More so, they don’t have necessary
gadgets and their children are unable to join online class. To include these students, we prefer recording classes
and broadcast them through cable television.” This limited internet access in remote areas is widening the
digital divide among the urban and rural populace.
4.5.2 Non-availability of Required Gadgets
13% of the respondent teachers did not possess any gadget for conducting online class; as such they are unable to
take online class.Teacher-5 mentioned, “I do not have any computer or smart phone to conduct online class,
thus I go to my school and use school computer and internet to conduct online classes”. Teacher-2 expressed,
“Generally most of the families do not possess electronic gadgets like computer, laptop and smart phone as
these devices are expensive and beyond their reach. The families who have a computer/laptop or a smart phone,
they have more number of users than the gadgets. As such, when one student is attending online class, his
siblings of other grades are unable to attend their online classes for not having their own gadgets. In many
houses, a single gadget is shared by many family members for different purposes like work from home, taking
online classes as teacher, attending online classes as student, playing games etc.” So gadget scarcity is a great
challenge for arranging education through online means during emergency due to pandemic in Bangladesh.
4.5.3 Technological Conversancy
Learning management systems (LMS) such as Google classroom, Piazza, aTutor, OLAT are very new
technology for the secondary teachers of Bangladesh. Instead, teachers are using social media platforms
Facebook live, WhatsApp, Viber etc, which have many shortcomings as compared to other online teaching
software systems. Moreover, all the participants of an online class are not properly conversant with the
technology. Class is often hampered by erratic operation of gadgets by the teachers and students.
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4.5.4 Class Management
Most of the teachers mentioned that numbers of students seems more than that of the regular class due to
appearance of so many windows in a single screen. Time management is also a major concern for teachers.
Delivering or demonstrating a topic and at the same time monitoring the students’ participations is quite
challenging. Teachers are also concerned about students’ short-attention span in the class. One teacher
mentioned “Students often tend to talk with their friends in video calls and create a disturbance in the class”.
4.5.6 Home Environment
Environment of home of some teachers and students is not friendly for online class. Some of them do not have a
suitable space at home for online class and some home environments are chaotic due to presence of many people
around. Absence of suitable home environment is perceived as a challenge of online teaching-learning by 20%
respondent teachers.
5. Discussion
The vary purpose of the study was to find out the current situation of secondary education during the closure of
regular schooling due to COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh and to explore the responses of the secondary
teachers for conducting online classes in this unprecedented situation. Despite of not having any experience,
teachers responded quickly with positive attitude to GoB’s initiatives in starting online classes for their school
students with whatsoever gadgets they have with them. Around 81% respondent teachers are taking online
classes with the help of smart phones (49%) and computers/laptops (37%). A total 13% teachers are unable to
take online classes as they do not possess required gadgets, which is better than the fact that 15%-19% secondary
school teachers in Bangladesh did not have access to computer or internet at school or at home (Farhana &
Chowdhury, 2019).
76% teachers were trained on use of ICT in education and 48% teachers had experience of taking
multimedia class. It is evident from this findings that ICT training and experience of multimedia class acted as a
strength of the teachers to take online classes without any formal training or guideline. Respondent teachers are
using Facebook Live, Whatsapp, Zoom, Google classroom and Viber as instructional media. Although, a good
number of LMS are available online for free, which can be utilized to create and administer online courses, host
a virtual classroom, assign homework, and to monitor student progress (Westfall, 2020), the most of the
secondary teachers in Bangladesh are unaware of these LMS. GoB may take initiative to introduce a convenient
LMS for conducting online class.
Teachers are using combination of different teaching methods such as lecture, demonstration, discussion
and group work to conduct online classes. They think that discussion is most effective for secondary students
rather than simple lecture. Besides, use of digital contents like videos and images help online teaching learning.
Teachers are also uploading PowerPoint slides, images, different web links to their class’s social media groups
so that the students can acquire prior knowledge on the subject before attending the class and also to help the
absent students. The study finds that the teachers are unfamiliar about online assessment method. Only 10%
teachers were found to take online examinations. 41% teachers are trying to assess the students from the
feedback of given home works and home assignments to assess the students.
Teachers are facing challenges of slow internet speed and high price of internet data package which they
can barely afford for taking online classes. Internet speed in Bangladesh is almost 40% slower than average
internet speed in the world (Molla & Islam, 2019). This speed further slowed down as the consumption of
internet has been increased by 25-30% compared with that of the normal times due to the pandemic (Islam,
2020). As such, online classes are suffering from slower internet. Irregular power failures often hinder online
classes too. Many teachers complained that controlling online class is a bit difficult than real classroom as they
cannot talk to the students directly. As such, teachers are trying several strategies to make the class interactive.
6. Conclusion and Recommendations
Overall, the study analyzed the current situation of online education on the secondary level during COVID-19
pandemic. The scenario viewed from the study that, it is difficult to conceive a vigorous pedagogy without any
preparatory activities. Limitations and challenges encountered by the teachers in taking online class can be
mitigated by institutional and governmental support. These supports are also needed to minimize imbalance of
quality of online education versus traditional face-to-face secondary level education as well as to help both the
teachers and students to cope with the inconvenience of sudden transition of the teaching-learning platform. To
sum up, the current situation of online education on the secondary level is yet to get up to the mark since the
preparatory gap is observable from the resulting facts and both teachers and students’ are challenging by
different hindrances. Finally it could be forecasted from the study that, online classes started due to COVID-19
pandemic might not be a transitional phase only, rather it might emerge as a new normal platform of education at
the secondary level for preparing the students of the 21st century.
To ease up the present difficulties, GoB may take initiatives in increasing the speed of internet for education
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Vol.11, No.20, 2020
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purpose within affordable reach of teachers and students. A good numbers of teachers do not possess necessary
gadgets like computer, laptop, smart phone etc. Government subsidy on electronic gadgets like computer/smart
phones for educational use may reduce the economic burden of teachers and student, thus enhance teaching
learning activities. Arranging rigorous training and formulating policy guidelines on online class may mitigate
challenges faced by the teachers in terms of technological conversancy, online class management and
unfavorable home environment.
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... However, despite the debate and criticism, teachers and researchers agree on the point that online teaching should be conducted to keep the education process ongoing until physical campuses can reopen (Kohnke & Moorhouse, 2020). However, this digital shift has suddenly put many teachers in difficult positions in Bangladeshi since they lack both the necessary pedagogical and technological knowledge to implement teaching online (Farhana et al., 2020). ...
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Introduction Traditional classrooms with limited flexibility in cell phones and social platforms like Twitter and Facebook are typical for most schools and colleges. The coronavirus disease 2019 lockdown scenario opened up a new way and created a wave in purchasing and using android phones, laptops, high-intensity Wi-Fi, which gave an entirely new look to the educational system. Hence, the present study aims to assess the challenges at technology adaption in academic learning faced by nursing students. Methodology A quantitative cross-sectional descriptive survey design was adopted. A total of 708 nursing students were selected using the universal sampling technique in the study. Prior to the study obtained ethical clearance certificate and authority permission from the institutes where the participants were pursuing their nursing course. Demographic Proforma and challenges of technology adoption rating scale were prepared and sent to nursing students online to determine the challenges of technology adoption for academic learning. A second reminder was sent if the participants failed to submit the online forms within 2 days. Results The majority of the students, 557 (78.6%), were between the age group of 18 to 21 years, 658 (92.9%) were females, and 688 (97.2%) of them were pursuing a BSc nursing course. The majority, 188 (26.6%), of the students were pursuing second year BSc. One-third (257; 36.3%) of the participants were from Karnataka. Most of the students, (677; 95.6%), felt that virtual classes have barriers to learning opportunities. A small proportion of the students felt that technology adoption is an opportunity to learn academics during the lockdown. Mean percentage scores of (394; 55.59%) subjects indicate virtual classes made them face many challenges in the form of barriers to learning academics. Conclusion Adequate training on handling technical issues and advanced technology is the need of the hour in higher education institutions. Online teaching and learning should be made an integral part of teaching-learning methodologies to keep the students abreast of advancing technologies.
Chapter
In this pandemic circumstance, the Bangladesh government started distance learning using broadcasting and online classes. This is a comparative study exploring the impact of online classes on adolescent learning during COVID-19 lockdown in Bangladesh. The study conducts a telephonic interview with 10 headteachers of urban and rural government schools through a semi-structured questionnaire. The study uses descriptive and documentary methods for analysis. The study finds the limitations and challenges facing by the teachers and the students to attend online classes. However, online examinations and assignments are more impactful than online classes to engage students and practice lessons but not enough to compensate for the learning gaps. Even parents are not satisfied with these. Many parents admitted their children to madrasah, and many parents want to continue their children's education after reopening the schools.
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Like most other countries around the world, after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the education system in Bangladesh has gone through a radical change from the beginning of March 2020 onwards. The study attempts to analyse teachers’, students’ and parents’ perceptions and experiences about the online education in the COVID-19 pandemic at the school level. To fulfil the research objectives, the study selects some private schools (kindergarten to high school) in the Chattogram District of Bangladesh. The study strongly advocates for making the online classes more effective and inclusive for all. There is a need to bring a strategic change from the course curriculum to the teaching process and ensure an amalgamation of all types of interventions (online and offline classes) for online learning activities through a unified policy direction.
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Background: E-learning is a relatively trending system of education that has been placed over conventional campus-based learning worldwide, especially since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to assess e-learning readiness among university students of a developing country like Bangladesh and identify the independent predictors of e-learning readiness. Methods: From 26 December 2020 to 11 January 2021, a total of 1162 university students who had enrolled for e-learning completed a semi-structured questionnaire. Data were collected online via “Google Form” following the principles of snowball sampling through available social media platforms in Bangladesh. A multivariable linear regression model was fitted to investigate the association of e-learning readiness with perceived e-learning stress and other independent predictor variables. Results: A total of 1162 university students participated in this study. The results indicated that with the increase of students’ perceived e-learning stress score, the average e-learning readiness score was significantly decreased (β = -0.43, 95% CI: -0.66, -0.20). The students did not seem ready, and none of the e-learning readiness scale items reached the highest mean score (5.0). The age, gender, divisional residence, preference of students and their parents, devices used, and having any eye problems were significantly associated with the students’ e-learning readiness. Conclusion: During the prolonged period of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning implication strategies are needed to be assessed systematically with the level of readiness and its’ impacts among students for the continuation of sound e-learning systems. The study findings recommend evaluating the e-learning readiness of university students and the mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 catastrophe in Bangladesh.
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) have changed the pedagogy in education offering more student-centered learning incidents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of ICT by the biology teachers in teaching-learning process of secondary schools in Bangladesh. A total of 50 biology teachers from several secondary schools of Bangladesh participated in the study. It was found that teachers have better access to computer than the average populace of Bangladesh. They have working knowledge on Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Power Point, and different web browsers. A good number of the teachers use computer for preparing their lectures, use internet for accessing educational materials, takes classes with multimedia with the support of ICT. However, about 17% to 25% were found to be not using these ICT means. Many teachers opined that they have less number of computers in the school to prepare for class work. They also assessed that hardware troubleshooting, software malfunction and unexpected power failure as challenges for using ICT. This paper recommends to provide continuous in-servicing training on ICT, interest free loan to teachers for purchasing laptop computer and to ensure technical support to overcome software and hardware problems in the schools.
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This study investigated some specific barriers and needs that online students are facing when learning English through WebEx system. It compared students’ barriers and needs with their background including gender, computer ownership, and monthly allowance. It also investigated the relationship among computer aptitude, barriers and needs of online learners. The samples were 211 undergraduate students enrolled in Fundamental English course. The instrument in this study was a questionnaire. Results indicated that the levels of needs and barriers of online learners in general were moderate. There were no statistically significant differences at .05 level found in barriers and needs of online learners as classified by gender, computer ownership, and computer aptitude. As hypothesised, there was a negative relationship between computer aptitude and barriers of online learners at .01 level. Students with high computer aptitude had fewer barriers to learn online than those with low computer aptitude. In addition, there was a positive relationship between barriers and needs of online learners at .01 levels. Students with more barriers were found to have more needs to help them to learn online than those with few barriers. Teachers and institutions can take the results of this study into consideration when developing online courses.
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