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Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the challenges and opportunities

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  • Cengiz Topel Industrial Vocational School

Abstract

The World Health Organization has declared Covid-19 as a pandemic that has posed a contemporary threat to humanity. This pandemic has successfully forced global shutdown of several activities, including educational activities, and this has resulted in tremendous crisis-response migration of universities with online learning serving as the educational platform. The crisis-response migration methods of universities, faculty and students, challenges and opportunities were discussed and it is evident that online learning is different from emergency remote teaching, online learning will be more sustainable while instructional activities will become more hybrid provided the challenges experienced during this pandemic are well explored and transformed to opportunities.
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Interactive Learning Environments
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Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the
challenges and opportunities
Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin & Emrah Soykan
To cite this article: Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin & Emrah Soykan (2020): Covid-19 pandemic
and online learning: the challenges and opportunities, Interactive Learning Environments, DOI:
10.1080/10494820.2020.1813180
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2020.1813180
Published online: 02 Sep 2020.
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the challenges and
opportunities
Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin and Emrah Soykan
Department of Computer Education & Instructional Technology, Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus
ABSTRACT
The World Health Organization has declared Covid-19 as a pandemic that
has posed a contemporary threat to humanity. This pandemic has
successfully forced global shutdown of several activities, including
educational activities, and this has resulted in tremendous crisis-
response migration of universities with online learning serving as the
educational platform. The crisis-response migration methods of
universities, faculty and students, challenges and opportunities were
discussed and it is evident that online learning is dierent from
emergency remote teaching, online learning will be more sustainable
while instructional activities will become more hybrid provided the
challenges experienced during this pandemic are well explored and
transformed to opportunities.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 5 May 2020
Accepted 18 August 2020
KEYWORDS
Covid-19 pandemic; online
learning; emergency remote
teaching; digital migration
methods; challenges;
opportunities
Introduction
According to Huang et al. (2020), a novel corona virus, known as Covid-19, was discovered in the last
month of the year 2019, in a seafood market in Wuhan. Clinical analysis results of the virus showed
person-to-person transmission (Li et al., 2020; Paules et al., 2020; Wang, Cheng, et al., 2020). The Direc-
tor General of WHO in March 2020 (WHO, 2020) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic after assessment of
the rapid spread and severity of the deadly virus across the globe with additional announcement of
social distancing as a means of curbing the spread of the pandemic. Merriam-Webster Online Diction-
ary (2020) referred to pandemic as an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area
and aects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. Social distancing is conscious incre-
ment in the physical gap between people in order to curb dissemination of disease (Red Cross, 2020).
This pandemic has forced global physical closure of businesses, sport activities and schools by
pushing all institutions to migrate to online platforms. Online learning is the use of internet and
some other important technologies to develop materials for educational purposes, instructional
delivery and management of program (Fry, 2001). Hrastinski (2008) stated that the two types of
online learning, namely asynchronous and synchronous online learning, are majorly compared but
for online learning to be eective and ecient, instructors, organizations and institutions must
have comprehensive understanding of the benets and limitations. This article discussed the
crisis-response migration methods of higher institutions of learning, students and faculty members
into online learning, the opportunities and challenges with respect to Covid-19, and also add
value to the existing body of literature on online learning by providing comprehensive awareness
on the migration methods of instructional delivery adopted by universities, faculty and students,
challenges and opportunities as the world battle to eradicate the pandemic.
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
CONTACT Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin yemmytesa3@yahoo.com
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2020.1813180
Review of literature
Digital transformation is not a novel phenomenon, and it has been accompanying higher education
institutions for some years now (Kopp et al., 2019; Leszczyński et al., 2018). Digital transformation of
Higher Education institutions is a topical issue that several stakeholders of education must feel con-
cerned about, abilities to apply ICT in every spheres of life are on incremental level, thus universities
must be up to the task of preparing potential professional to be able to face challenges and provide
solutions (Bond et al., 2018; Sandkuhl & Lehmann, 2017), and this transformation has suggested the
integration of sustainable management to be able to adjust to the modications enforced as a result
of novel technologies (Abad-Segura et al., 2020) and pandemic recently. Digital transformation in the
context of higher education institutions can be regarded as the summation of all digital processes
required to accomplish transformation process that gives higher education institutions the opportu-
nities to positively apply digital technologies optimally (Kopp et al., 2019). This process also consists of
adequate strategic preparation, trust establishment, thinking in processes, amalgamation and
reinforcement of all parties involved, separate, collaborative and organizational knowledge
(Cameron & Green, 2019). Hiltz and Turo(2005) argued that the contemporary transformation
will be seen as revolutionary modications in the specications of higher education as a process
and as an institution in the next 50 years because the transformation has moved face-to-face instruc-
tional programs using objectivist, teacher-centered teaching method, for thousands of home-grown,
provincial and domestic universities to online and hybrid programs applying digital technologies in
enhancing constructivist, learner-centered, cooperative pedagogy for some hundred mega-univer-
sitiesthat function worldwide. These researchers added that online learning is a novel social process
that has been gathering momentum as the surrogate for customary face-to-face classroom, but
viewed from the perspective of replacement processes that has been branded as disruptive pro-
cesses. Covid-19 pandemic initiated digital transformation of higher education, and as a result of
the crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, novelties in higher education that would typically
take many years because of diering managerial regulations were presented quickly within limited
number of days (Strielkowski, 2020) and this has also turned the branding of online learning as dis-
ruptive process to a messiahstatus.
While assessing the assumptions surrounding the digital transformation of higher education insti-
tutions, Kopp et al. (2019) gave ve common assumptions that are considered more of hindrances to
digital transformation of higher education institutions as against contributions to its realization and
these assumptions are related to (i) change, (ii) pace, (iii) technology, (iv) competences and (v)
nancing. Digitalization in higher education institutions should not be referred to as e-learning
since online learning is only one of the several features of digital transformation of higher education
institutions. Online learning is the educational usage of technological devices, tools and the internet
(Means et al., 2009), Tallent-Runnels et al. (2006) added that the persistent increase in technological
innovation and internet accessibility has increased the motivation for online learning since the begin-
ning of the millennium, but Joshi et al. (2020) concluded that the instructional achievement of online
learning is debatable because it causes absence of face-to-face relationship among learners, learners
and instructors. Hodges et al. (2020)dierentiated adequately planned online learning experiences
from courses presented online as response to crisis. These researchers went further to refer to
online education during this pandemic as emergency remote teachingbecause the latter is in con-
trast with quality or eective online learning.
Eective online education consists of online teaching and learning, boosting of several research
works, principles, prototypes, theories, ethics and appraisal of benchmark concentrations on
quality online course design, teaching and learning (Hodges et al., 2020; Bozkurt & Sharma, 2020),
since it has been conrmed that eective online learning is a byproduct of cautious design and plan-
ning of instruction with the application of organized model for designing and development of
instruction (Branch & Dousay, 2015). The absence of the cautious design and development
process (Branch & Dousay, 2015) in the migration process gave birth to the rejection of the
2O. B. ADEDOYIN AND E. SOYKAN
contemporary online education experience during this pandemic as eective online education but
rather as emergency remote teaching (Bozkurt & Sharma, 2020; Hodges et al., 2020; Vlachopoulos,
2020).
Crisis-response migration methods
Online leaning is not a novel discovery, hints on online universities degreessurface as far back 1980s,
coupled with 1990s and 2000s as optimal maturation time for online education, and another undeni-
able fact is that online education has regularly been viewed from the perspective of good-to-have
alternative but not a serious-mission model to guarantee steadiness of instructional activities
(Ribeiro, 2020). The global acceptance of social distancing policy, as announced by WHO as a
measure to curb the spread of Covid-19, has forced schools to close their doors, and this has
caused unexpected disruption of traditional teaching and learning method.
The good-to-have narrative changed as a result of the global closure of schools has part of
measures to maintain social distancing in order to curb rapid transmission of Covid-19, schools
switched instructional activities to remote learning platforms and this migration came with several
logistical challenges, and one major issue is that the migration has caused compulsory modication
in the attitudes of education administrators, instructors and learners on the signicance of online
learning (Ribeiro, 2020). Some schools ran distance education programs prior to the emergence of
Covid-19 pandemic, and this actually assisted some of these higher citadels of learning in their
migration process. After the announcement of physical closure of schools by the governments as
a means of curtailing the global and community rapid spread of the pandemic, the only option avail-
able for universities to adopt is online learning. Universities across the globe engaged in digital trans-
formation process in order to leave up to their objectives. The transformation process was smooth for
some institutions, while some responded with crisis-response migration process due to the pan-
demic, as cited by Hodges et al. (2020) and Manfuso (2020). The crisis-response migration
methods employed by some universities can be classied into two parts, namely External-Assisted
Migration and External-Integrated Migration. The crisis-response migration methods discussed
below addressed the movement of instruction online to give room for exibility of teaching and
learning that will be devoid of geographical and time limitations, but the speed in which the
online movement of instruction was projected to take place was extraordinary and surprising. This
shows that in genuineness, the migration was limited to instructional delivery approaches,
methods and tools.
External-Assisted Migration in this article is referred to as situation whereby universities make use of
Web 2.0 platforms designed by external corporate bodies or organizations. In external-assisted
migration, some of these institutions provided data of students and faculty members for easy
migration and applications of these Web 2.0 platforms, such as MicroSoft 360, Moodles, etc. Exter-
nal-Integrated Migration on the hand refers to a situation whereby universities integrate Web 2.0 plat-
forms designed by external corporate bodies or organizations into their personal online learning
platforms, such integrated applications are BigBlueButton, Google Classroom, etc. It is also important
to note that both External-Assisted Migration and External-Integrated Migration oer the same fea-
tures for instructional delivery and assessment through video conferencing, submission of assign-
ments, forum discussion, assessment, etc.
The crisis-response migration process of students and faculty members can also be viewed from
the level of their digital competence and availability of information on online learning. Contemporary
students and some faculty members are digital natives, since digital natives are the group of people
born and raised during digital period (Prensky, 2001), and they are expected to be tech-savvy.
However, a substantial number of them do not have the skills expected of digital natives (Bennett
et al., 2008), which also prompted Shariman et al. (2012) to conclude that the eects of new
digital technologies to redene literacy are yet to be fully revealed. In the case of university students
in developing country just like every other country where schools are yet to attain the full stage of
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 3
digital transformation of educational activities, it took some students and faculty members more time
to migrate into the emergency remote teaching through Web 2.0 platforms made available by their
respective institutions.
Challenges
With Covid-19 pandemic, it has become clearer that education system is susceptible to external
dangers (Bozkurt & Sharma, 2020). Ribeiro (2020) rightly noted that this digital transformation of
instructional delivery came with several logistical challenges and attitudinal modications.
Feldman (n.d.) while addressing student assessment during this pandemic on how districts can legis-
late unbiased and evenhanded grading policies based on these recommendations; (i) pandemic-
related anxiety will have negative eects on student academic performance, (ii) academic perform-
ance of students might be aect by racial, economic and resource dierences, and (iii) the larger parts
of instructors were not eectively ready to deliver high-quality instruction remotely. The challenges
discussed here are limited to digital transformation of instructional operations during the period of
Covid-19 pandemic.
Technology
Online learning in its entirety is dependent on technological devices and internet, instructors and stu-
dents with bad internet connections are liable to be denied access to online leaning. The dependency
of online learning on technological equipment and the provision of the equipment was a big chal-
lenge for institutions, faculty and learners. D. Yates (personal communication, March 17, 2020)
while answering a question posted on Research Gate, by John R. Yamamoto-Wilson a retired pro-
fessor from Sophia University, on the eects of Covid-19 and online learning on instructors and teach-
ing stated that students with outdated technological devices might nd it hard to meet up with some
technical requirements of online learning, citing an example of a student who wanted to take mid-
semester e-quiz by using Respodus. This particular student could not download the browser after
several attempts and it was later discovered that she was using an outdated device that is not com-
patible with the browser. This researcher also cited students with accessibility problems that may nd
it dicult to follow instructions posted on the course announcement section of programs and a
typical example of that is when the instructor posted on the course announcement page that
there wont be class on a particular date, one of the students still sent mail asking if class will hold
on that date.
Socio-economic factor
As a result of inequality in the socio-economic status of students, some rely on the computer and free
internet in school (Demirbilek, 2014), and due to the closure of schools, the migration process of
these set of students is expected to be slow. It becomes undeniable that students with low socio-
economic background will denitely nd it dicult to migrate as early as expected since they
cannot come to school due to the pandemic. Fishbane and Tomer (2020)s research ndings on
what students with no internet access are to do during this Covid-19 pandemic show that as the
level of poverty increases in the community, the rate of internet accessibilities declined rapidly
and by implications, students with no or low socio-economic power to aord broadband connection
are most vulnerable to fall behind or encounter additional challenges to meet up with others in
online learning.
4O. B. ADEDOYIN AND E. SOYKAN
Human and petsintrusions
Human and petsintrusion here is the unexpected appearance or interruption of family members,
friends and or pets that may cause disruption or diversion of online learning participantsattention
during the online teaching and learning process. Malcolm Brown, the Director of Learning Initiatives
at EDUCAUSE also cited petsintrusions, through situations where online learnings are in progress via
videoconference and someones pet such dogs will be barking, or cat will walk across the table
(Manfuso, 2020). Another intrusion linked to family members of online learning participants, when
classes are in progress, can be found on a video le from St J. D.S.G. Pietermaritzburg (2020).
Digital competence
Digital competence is the group of skills, knowledge and attitudes needed when using ICT and digital
devices to perform responsibilities, such as problem solving, information management, collaboration
with respect to eectiveness, eciency and ethics (Ferrari, 2012). In this jet age, not all digital natives
possessed digital competence that are not limited to education but all spheres of life (Bennett et al.,
2008). Students and instructors with low digital competence are liable to lack behind in online learn-
ing. According to a video le by AlkaPwnige (2020), there are situations whereby online learning par-
ticipants go naked unconsciously by either visiting the comfort station or dressing up for the online
class, and this can be linked to unconscious use of the platform as a result unethical use of digital
devises that can be avoided through digital competence. Due to digital transformation of instruc-
tional activities during this pandemic, libraries are to follow the trend in order to deliver eective ser-
vices to faculty, students and other stakeholders through digital library, students and faculty with low
digital competence might nd it dicult to make optimal utilization of the digital library. Omotayo
and Haliru (2020) has established digital competence as a variable with positive correlation and sub-
stantial eects on the application of digital library by higher education learners.
Assessment and supervision
After instructional delivery here comes assessment where instructors measure learning activities to
ascertain the instructional objectives through test, quiz and examination. Osterlind (2002), there
exists numerous literature on test and measurement theory and analysis with little details on plan-
ning, development and test items writing by instructors. In online learning, assessments are often
carried online whereby instructors are limited to proxy supervision of learners making it impossible
to regulate and control cheating (Arkorful & Abaidoo, 2015). There are several students testing
formats that are applicable with e-learning and according to Osterlind (2002), such ICT-enhanced
testing formats include constructed-response, performance-based formats, sentence-completion or
short-answer, matching, true-false and cloze-procedure. Flaherty (2020) added that Kevin Gannon,
the Director of Center for Excellence in Teaching, Grand View University in a contemporary publi-
cation, has opined that hes a strong advocate of considerable modication of grading systems
during this pandemic because it is unimaginable to claim that learners are getting the same learning
experiences and chances through online learning during this pandemic and this will make assess-
ment more complicated.
Heavy workload
The quick and sudden digital transformation process of universities has huge workload on ICT units of
institutions to build e-platforms, integrated existing external applications into their systems and as
well as full migration into external applications. Instructors also share part of the workload
because they are responsible for transforming their course contents to be e-platform-friendly to
the learners. This heavy workload is expected to cause unforeseen nancial and time cost (Akkoyunlu
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 5
& Soylu, 2006). Monique Sendze, the Chief Information Ocer for the Colorado School of Mines in
interview granted to EdTech Magazine, stated that they were on crisis-response mode of acquiring
new licenses and improvement of current licenses to carter for the tremendous increase in the
number of users that will be using e-learning tools of the school simultaneously (Manfuso, 2020).
D. Yates (personal communication, March 17, 2020) made reference to the complaints of students
receiving more emails from the university, some of these emails contain important messages,
while others are irrelevant messages and to instructors, these emails are irrelevant to them
because those messages are students focused. These loads of emails have added to the stress of stu-
dents and faculty and this may result in mental health problems.
Compatibility
The compatibility of online learning with social science and humanities has been proved eective
while researchers have also contested its compatibility with sports sciences, engineering and
medical sciences where hands-on practical experiences are required as part of instructional activities
(Leszczyński et al., 2018). Remote laboratories are used as alternative laboratories in online learning
and such virtual laboratories oered by online learning can only ll the theory-to-practice hole (Iqbal
et al., 2015). Online learning cannot be eectively and eciently applied in some disciplines and this
compatibility gap is yet to be lled (Leszczyński et al., 2018). According to Murphy (2020), based on
the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommendations, medical students were
directed to abstain from having direct contact with patient in the middle of March 2020, medical-trai-
nees of Brown University were in clerkships and the school were able to augmentmedical students
training by migrating some aspects of clinical education to online platform. However, those students
are to go back to the wards to complete the direct-patient interaction that is required in clerkship as
soon as the suspension due to the Covid-19 has been lifted. This implies that online learning is not
compatible with clinical but can only be used to augment face-to-face training method pending the
time there will be chance to go back to the normal traditional setting (Leszczyński et al., 2018). Bocz-
kowska et al. (2018) recommended that e-learning programs are necessary systems of continual edu-
cation and to advance the value education in emergency nursing, additional work need to be
directed to the enhancement of online learning programs.
Opportunities
Online learning on its own has advantages, such as exibility (Smedley, 2010), interactivity (Leszc-
zyński et al., 2018; Wagner et al., 2008), self-pacing (Amer, 2007) and opportunities, the current
increase in its adoption by universities is born of their desire to direct their actions toward alignment
with both local and global practices and policies to overcome the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and
maintenance of academic calendar. Universities and other educational platforms have responded to
the pandemic with quick digital transformation of their educational activities. Apart from the edu-
cational and economical roles of universities, Wang and Zha (2018) also recognized the social
roles of universities as the world battle for the eradication of the pandemic. According to Manfuso
(2020), Greg Flanik, Chief Information Ocer of Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, stated that
when they were informed of the digital transformation of instructional activities, he told his team
to make the best use of the opportunity oered by the crisis since they have always said that to
get everybody to make use of online learning tools would be an ultimate accomplishment. Greg
Flanik continued by adding that online learning has provided a clear roadmap that educators
need to take advantage and engage major stakeholders in education to create novel market for
instructional delivery and the longer the pandemic lasts, the more likely online learning becomes
a general acceptable mode of teaching and learning.
6O. B. ADEDOYIN AND E. SOYKAN
Research innovations
This pandemic is, no doubt, a threat to humanity (Poon & Peiris, 2020), considering the state of emer-
gency declared by WHO as a result of the rapid spread and severity of the deadly virus across the
globe. As researchers spring into actions on nding short-term and long-term solutions to the
threat posed on humanity by the virus, there is a need for instructional technologists most especially
researchers in distance education to also take advantage of the sudden increase in participants of
online learning as opportunities for research advancement in order to provide novel innovations
to meet latest challenges of online learning. These research advancements should cover the follow-
ing: (a) the need to provide models to accommodate the contemporary changes in online learning,
(b) review the process of digital transformation of institutions, (c) designing of more scalable and per-
sonalized online learning models, (d) designing of online learning model that will reduce the work-
load on the instructors, (e) redesign the learning process. N. N. Hameed (personal communication,
April 4, 2020) added that there is global diversion of academic attentions to Covid-19, it is expected
that most researchers will spring into research activities because of the topical issue and massive
research publications and innovations will be recorded.
Technological innovations
Universities and other research centers across the globe are saddled with the responsibilities of pro-
viding research avenues for researcherscollaboration in order to produce positive results as early as
possible for the prevention and control of the pandemic. As a result of these responsibilities and
within short-term frame, some universities in North Cyprus have produced several scientic inno-
vations to assist frontlines (i.e. health workers) in the battle to eradicate the pandemic and to the
general public in order to stop the rapid spread of the virus. These scientic innovations, to
mention a few, include 3D Multiplexer Ventilator(Near East University, 2020), Medical Shields
(Eastern Mediterranean University, 2020). Beech (2020) likened the technological innovation oppor-
tunities brought by Covid-19 to that of Second World War that ushered in rocket technology and
digital computer, and according to this World Economic Forum writer, some of the urgent technologi-
cal innovations brought by Covid-19 era include 3D Printed Hands-Free Door Openers, Basic Venti-
lators, Spiderman Wrist-Mounted Disinfectant Sprays, Wristband that rings whenever someone
wants to touch his/her face.
Monique Sendze as rightly quoted in Manfuso (2020) interview, Information Technology pro-
fessionals responded quickly to the crisis like a SWAT crew to provide solutions, with the current tech-
nological interventions provided by IT professionals during this Covid-19 pandemic, there is no doubt
that they are up to the task in providing more if more crisis erupts. Thus, this can be adopted in con-
tinuity of business, adversity rescue strategies.
Socio-economic interventions
Developed nations have been oering palliatives to their citizens and residents in order to cushion
the eect of the global lockdown on the people and to a large extent, these palliative measures do
not exempt public and private organizations, institution donations etc. University communities in
North Cyprus have called on alumni, public and private organizations and other relevant bodies in
providing socio-economic supports to the students. These socio-economic supports include food
items, stoppage of increment in tuition debt policy on students, psychological and medical assistance
to students and residences. According to Fishbane and Tomer (2020), some Internet Services Provi-
ders have stated providing socio-economic intervention programs such as provision of free broad-
band to college and K-12 learners in the USA, while digital inclusion campaigner EveryoneOn has
opened a search engine to assist people according to their ZIP code nd low-cost internet bundle
programs. Eastern Mediterranean University in conjunction with TurkCell also keyed into such
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 7
socio-economic intervention as the form of corporate social responsibilities and service innovation to
provide free internet for their students and faculty (Ogunmokun, Eluwole, et al., 2020; Ogunmokun,
Unverdi-Creig, et al., 2020; Ogunmokun & Timur, 2019). Joosub (2020) also in the spirit of reducing the
nancial burden of internet data subscription on university students in order to access their online
learning platforms during this Covid-19 pandemic, Vodacom has launched special bundles and
also increased their zero-rated oer to all public citadels of learning in South Africa for students
and faculty of those institutions to have internet access.
Discussion and conclusion
It is visible that instructional technology, as a research eld with several sub-divisions, has played a
major role in cushioning the eect of this pandemic on educational activities by serving as the only
platform for instructional design, delivery and assessment platforms. Wang, Cheng, et al. (2020)as
researchers across all disciplines strive to invent preventive and control mechanism for the pandemic,
there is a need to share contemporary research ndings in order to promote collaborative enquiry
and technological networking for the assurance of viable Covid-19 studies. Online education is
deeply rooted in adequate planning and designs of instructions with several available theories
and models, but the migration process of the universities to online education becomes questionable
because these processes witnessed the absence of proper planning, design and development of
online instructional programs due to the pandemic. The crisis-response migration methods
adopted by universities are limited to delivery media without taking cognizance of eective online
education theories and models. Thus, the crisis-response migration due to the pandemic should
not be equated with eective online education or digital transformation of universities but rather
be seen from the perspective emergency remote teaching platforms. To address digital competence
as an emergency remote teaching problem, Ala-Mutka et al. (2008) suggested that educational insti-
tutions need not design a separate platform for learning digital skills, but it should be embedded in
teaching and learning process of all subjects, while Omotayo and Haliru (2020) also added that lear-
ners must be motivated to get digital competency for them to remain relevant in modernity. There
exist needs for researchers in educational technology to direct research advancement toward the
development of alternative assessment approaches that will be devoid of cheating and plagiarism
with adequate attention on the recommendations of Feldman (n.d.) for unbiased and equitable
assessment systems for future reoccurrence of such pandemic, since education system is vulnerable
to external problems of this kind (Bozkurt & Sharma, 2020). Online learning elements are technology-
driven and dependent on internet facilities, educational institutions can collaborate with telecommu-
nication industries to either subsidize the cost of internet subscriptions or provide free browsing data
to the students and instructors as part of their corporate social responsibilities. For educators,
research actions need to be also geared toward the development of a uniform online learning
model that will be applicable to all disciplines to solve the problem of compatibility. The global accep-
tance and experience of contemporary online learning (i.e. emergency remote teaching), as some
may call it, will denitely lead to situations where students and faculty will get used to application
of technological devises and tools for teaching and learning, and this usage will, no doubt, go
beyond school into the place of work. Han and Ellis (2019) suggested the need for faculty to assist
students in recognizing the values of learning via blended discussions and also elucidate on the inte-
gration of online discussion and traditional face-to-face learning. Additionally, implementation of
technical solutions to test and measurement in remote emergency teaching need to consider test
item analysis and eld trial as opined by Osterlind (2002). Human and petsintrusion can also be
either reduced to the nearest minimum or totally eradicated through setting up of separate online
learning studio/library where those intrusions will be restricted. Despite the sudden migration of
instructional delivery to online platforms by universities and other citadel of learning during this pan-
demic, provided the challenges experienced by faculty and students are well explored and
8O. B. ADEDOYIN AND E. SOYKAN
transformed to opportunities, it is evident that online learning will be sustained and educational will
become more hybrid. Development of emergency remote teaching evaluation instrument is to have
more revealing information on the crisis-response migration methods and challenges experienced by
the students and faculty as discussed in this study for further research becomes recommendable.
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Notes on contributors
Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin is currently a Ph.D. scholar in Computer Education and Instructional Technologies at Near
East University. His research interests include online learning, digital competence andeducational tourism.
Emrah Soykan was born in Nicosia in 1988. After having graduated in Science at the Lefkosa Türk High School in Nicosia
in 2006, he obtained a Bachelors degree in Computer Education and Instructional Technologies at the Near East Univer-
sity in 2010. After nishing his undergraduate course, he furthered his studies and earned a Masters degree in 2012 in
Computer Education and Instructional Technologies as well. During his years at Master level, Mr Soykan undertook
various courses, attended conferences and society services and worked on dierent projects. He nished his Ph.D. on
the same subject at the Near East University in 2016.
ORCID
Olasile Babatunde Adedoyin http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0166-2383
Emrah Soykan http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0385-1404
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Appendix. Examples of e-learning solutions used globally
Clanbeat
Source: https://www.clanbeat.com/
BitDegree
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 11
Source: https://www.bitdegree.org/
Claned
Source: https://www.claned.com
Google Classroom
Source: https://classroom.google.com/
Microsoft Teams
12 O. B. ADEDOYIN AND E. SOYKAN
Source: https://microsoft.com/
INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 13
... In Indonesia, online learning has been fully implemented since the Ministry of Education and Culture decided to suspend all school activities and use online learning through the issuance of Circular Letter No.4/2020 (Kemendikbud, 2020). Online learning has become an emergency remote learning alternative due to the spread of COVID-19 (Adedoyin & Soykan, 2020). Emergency remote learning is described as the quick transformation from face-to-face learning to an online system during a pandemic situation. ...
... Generally, the most common issue in online learning is technology barriers. According to Adedoyin & Soykan (2020), technology and the internet become the main challenges of online learning since learning relies on them. Aside from technology and internet connection, socio-economic factors, human and pet intrusions, digital competence, assessment and supervision, heavy workload, and compatibility are also re-ported as challenges in online learning. ...
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... A growing size of evidence can be found in previous empirical studies and reviews to support the advantages of collaborative learning, or more specifically, peer assessment . Online learning has demonstrated its significant role and advantages, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic (Adedoyin and Soykan 2020). Online learning and peer assessment in various subjects continue to develop, inspiring integrative research to investigate peer assessment in online language courses and provide enhanced and diversified forms of it. ...
... Examples can be found in further applications of video annotation tools, online teaching platforms to satisfy the educational needs in the post-COVID-19 era, and automated evaluation tools corresponding to e-learning environments (Fang et al. 2022;Shek et al. 2021). These studies contributed to understanding peer assessment in the era of online learning and teaching triggered by COVID-19 (Adedoyin and Soykan 2020). ...
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... This created a massive change in the educational system in many parts, including Indonesia. There are many challenges in conducting distance learning Adedoyin (2020). Online learning relies on technology and the Internet. ...
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