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Purpose of the study: The situation of a mass transition of Universities to online education in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to see the challenges of distance e-learning in practice. In this unique situation, the same students studying the same course changed only the form of education, which allows us to see the consequences of such a transition. The purpose of the study is the analysis of changes in students' educational activities in the transition to online learning. Methodology: The article provides a quantitative statistical analysis of changes in the behaviour of first-year students of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (N=3122) in the framework of studying the mass open online course "Philosophy" on the platform when switching to fully e-learning in March 2020. The authors have applied data mining MOOCs from students' learning portfolios. Main Findings: Existing technological solutions and educational technologies made it possible to quickly adapt the education system to the distance format. However, the transition to fully e-learning has led to a sharp increase (by 16-17%) in the number of students who do not participate in intermediate tests and not doing homework in the e-course and later did not return to normal learning. Applications of this study: Since modern higher education is increasingly using e-learning, it is necessary to anticipate the consequences of the implementation of e-learning. The study helps to see general trends in this area. Novelty/Originality of this study: The study provides an analysis of students' learning when switching to online education based on data taken directly from students' learning portfolios, which allows us to see a completely objective picture of changes in students' behaviour.
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Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews
eISSN: 2395-6518, Vol 8, No 4, 2020, pp 1083-1093
1083 | © Bylieva et al.
Daria Bylieva1*, Zafer Bekirogullari2, Victoria Lobatyuk3, Tatiana Nam4
1*,3Department of Social Science, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia; 2Department of
Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Near East University, Cyprus; 4Graduate School of Engineering Education,
Psychology and Applied Linguistics, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia.
Email: *
Article History: Received on 16th July 2020, Revised on 19th August 2020, Published on 11th September 2020
Purpose of the study: The situation of a mass transition of Universities to online education in the period of the
COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to see the challenges of distance e-learning in practice. In this unique situation, the
same students studying the same course changed only the form of education, which allows us to see the consequences of
such a transition. The purpose of the study is the analysis of changes in students' educational activities in the transition to
online learning.
Methodology: The article provides a quantitative statistical analysis of changes in the behaviour of first-year students of
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (N=3122) in the framework of studying the mass open online
course “Philosophy” on the platform when switching to fully e-learning in March 2020. The authors have
applied data mining MOOCs from students’ learning portfolios.
Main Findings: Existing technological solutions and educational technologies made it possible to quickly adapt the
education system to the distance format. However, the transition to fully e-learning has led to a sharp increase (by
16-17%) in the number of students who do not participate in intermediate tests and not doing homework in the e-course
and later did not return to normal learning.
Applications of this study: Since modern higher education is increasingly using e-learning, it is necessary to anticipate
the consequences of the implementation of e-learning. The study helps to see general trends in this area.
Novelty/Originality of this study: The study provides an analysis of students’ learning when switching to online
education based on data taken directly from students’ learning portfolios, which allows us to see a completely objective
picture of changes in students' behaviour.
Keywords: Online Learning, E-learning, MOOC, COVID-19, Higher Education.
The measures taken by different governments during the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed the social life
of people in all its aspects. There should be noted the increased role of information and communication technologies
during the lockdown period, which on the one hand allowed many people to continue their normal activities, work,
study, shopping, etc., on the other hand, served as a source of constant anxiety (Pan et al., 2020; Xie et al., 2020). The
closure of schools has exacerbated problems of social inequality in society. Parents faced the problem of having to
actively participate in the educational process and spend more time on home childcare. It is also worth noting that there
is insufficient access to distance learning due to the difficulties related to the technical support of the process. (Armitage
& Nellums, 2020; Dunn et al., 2020). There are also difficulties due to the lack of suitable courses, the need to train
teachers, interaction with children with special educational needs, etc. (Petretto et al., 2020; Zhang et al., 2020).
However, despite the above-mentioned facts, it turned down that education is among the most prepared fields.
Higher education turned out to be in a better position as the platforms of mass open courses and LMS of universities
have already collected a vast library of various classes (Evseeva et al., 2020; Odinokaya et al., 2019; Pokrovskaia et al.,
2018; Pozdeeva et al., 2019; Razinkina et al., 2019). Also, social networks play an essential role in communication
between teachers and students (Al-Bahrani et al., 2017; Al-Musawi et al., 2020; Hamid et al., 2015; Narayan et al., 2019;
Quansah et al., 2016; Sobaih et al., 2016). Ant technologies for involving students in the electronic educational process
have been developed (Berisha et al., 2019; Hong et al., 2020; Moccozet et al., 2014; Nasser & Musawi, 2020). The most
problematic courses are those that require direct physical participation, but there has been a recent development in this
area that allows them to create virtual laboratories, simulators, etc. (Moskaliuk et al., 2013; Ng & Or, 2020). However,
there are problems with high-stake assessments and graduation (Alawamleh, 2020).
Today we have the opportunity to assess in general terms some of the consequences of changing the form of education.
In particular, this article presents data demonstrating what exactly changed in the educational activities of students of
Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) in the framework of the MOOC course of philosophy,
which at the beginning of the spring semester was supplemented by face-to-face classes, which cancelled on March 16.
Thus, in the middle of the semester, there was a transition from the blended form of teaching philosophy to online
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learning. Migrating from traditional or blended learning to an entirely virtual and online delivery strategy can't happen
overnight (Crawford et al., 2020, p. 11). Therefore, at SPbPU the transition took place in just a few days. Our university
management staff had decided to use MS Teams along with the learning management system Moodle and MOOCs.
These programs are already operating at the university to ensure direct communication between teachers and students in
the absence of a developed virtual course. Research shows that over time, the attitude of students to online learning at
SPbPU has become more positive, so the assessment of the effectiveness of online education has increased from 2.9 to
3.8 on a five-point scale, and the evaluation of the ease of using online learning has also grown from 3.29 to 4.11
(Baranova et al., 2020).
In recent years, online learning has become increasingly favoured both in the context of lifelong learning and in classical
university education. The economic advantages and ease of use at any time and from anywhere make online courses
increasingly popular in the higher education environment (Pokrovskaia et al, 2019). The use of MOOC is not just a new
technological solution; it is a significant change in existing university educational practices (Griffiths et al., 2014;
Jaggars & Xu, 2013; Knox, 2016). As a result, the application of this phenomenon requires a comprehensive study.
Many studies indicate that the students’ success in the online platform is not worse than using other forms of training
(Lyke & Frank, 2012; Meder, 2013; Wallace & Clariana, 2020). At the same time, studies are indicating such
problematic aspects of using MOOC at universities as a lack of monitoring, shortcomings of the assessment system,
tradition, mass character, and others (López Meneses et al., 2020). Also, the use of e-education is the least successful for
the subjects as social science and professional studies courses (Xu & Jaggars, 2014).
Today we can overcome the problem related to the traditional approach in education by implementing adaptive MOOC
(a-MOOC) and adaptive hybrid MOOC (ah-MOOC). The first one takes into account the characteristics of the student
and the preferred learning model, offers different options for the presentation of material, control, sequence, and speed of
learning modules, etc. The second one provides an individual educational trajectory by combining learning resources, a
system of adaptation (tailoring to the needs of a particular student), and social networks of students (García-Peñalvo et
al., 2018). University teachers develop a variety of strategies to help students to overcome the disadvantages of higher
education program through online courses in their turn (Andone et al., 2015; Bralić & Divjak, 2016; Mori & Ractliffe,
The forced transition to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has given researchers around the world new
opportunities to study online education. The first articles published on this topic had the purpose to share practices of e-
learning implementation at all levels of education and the experience of using online tools that facilitate communication
between teachers and students (Basilaia, 2020; Daniel, 2020; Zaharah & Kirilova, 2020). Chinese education experts were
the first to face the problem of switching to online education in March 2020. So they have released a guide to help
educational institutions in other countries to ensure reliable communication infrastructure, the adaptation of suitable
digital learning resources, facilitation of effective online teaching and learning, by using flexible learning (Huang et al.,
More recent studies reveal specific challenges associated with online education: the primary barrier levels, a teacher, a
school, a curriculum, a student (Mailizar et al., 2020), and a jump in the load on the campus network traffic (Favale et
al., 2020). The results of surveys of direct participants of the educational process began to appear in the public domain,
for example, there are data on the degree of technical readiness and availability of necessary computer skills for online
learning (Espino-Díaz et al., 2020; Händel et al., 2020). There are also results showing changes in the workload,
satisfaction, as well as students’ (Dwidienawati et al., 2020; Trung et al., 2020) and teachers’ attitudes to studies
(Mailizar et al., 2020). The most significant factors that hinder online learning identified as unavailability and
accessibility issues, poor digital skills (Onyema et al., 2020), and lack of ‘focus and restraint’ (Sun et al., 2020).
Problems of a technical nature and interaction between a computer and a person came to the fore when there was a need
to switch quickly to online training for the entire contingent of teachers and students. Nevertheless, the most acute
problems in the first period of adaptation should not obscure the existence of a large layer of other challenges related to
the use of online learning in university education. The rich experience gained over the years of studying questions
devoted to e-learning allows us to determine its most significant characteristics and the existing problems. In numerous
studies of factors that influence the success of online courses, researchers have focused on the characteristics of students
(Rodriguez, 2011), course design (Glance et al., 2013; Jaggars & Xu, 2013), set learning goals, organization of the
communication process (Gaytan, 2015; Tawafak et al., 2020) and other factors. One of the significant challenges
discovered in online learning is low completion rates (Xu & Jaggars, 2011). That may occur due to the lack of social and
teacher presence (Bowers & Kumar, 2015) and increased requirements for self-organization (Chen & Jang, 2019;
Kizilcec et al., 2017). Some authors seek to identify similarities between students who drop out (Aragon & Johnson,
2008). Today, research methods for online courses are not limited to social surveys of all interested parties or expert
evaluation of courses. In particular, data obtained directly from the learner's learning portfolio presents great
opportunities for researchers. Data mining allows you to analyze all the features of a student's behaviour in an electronic
course. It shows how often, in what sequence, and how much time the student accessed each of the available resources
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(Romero et al., 2013). It allows us the opportunity to use this data at various levels from helping specific students in
evaluating e-learning problems in general.
One of the most promising methods for identifying the most significant factors of learning in an electronic environment
is an analytical comparison of face-to-face, blended, and online learning. However, when comparing courses conducted
in different formats, either various courses (Bylieva et al., 2019; Ntourmas et al., 2018) or different groups of students
(Al-Qahtani & Higgins, 2013) have been studied. This can have a significant effect on the results. The current situation
has created opportunities to compare the learning situation before and after switching to fully online learning. This study
examines a single stream of students in the same MOOC course, which reduces the impact of extraneous factors.
Nevertheless, the impact of the pandemic situation itself is a significant psychological factor and we should not ignore it.
Data on student stress levels are mixed. Some studies show comparatively low levels of student anxiety caused by
COVID-19, three-quarters of medical students reported minimal stress (Al-Rabiaah et al., 2020). Other studies show
higher levels of stress among students about 42.4% (Acharya, 2020). This difference is not surprising. Even though the
whole world has a common disease, different countries and universities had initially different living conditions,
educational programs, and ways to adapt the learning process to new conditions. The situation of the pandemic is more
unpleasant for some groups of students than for others. International students, especially those who are from countries
where the virus started earlier, are in the most vulnerable and psychologically tricky situation, because, on the one hand,
they are worried about their relatives at home, and on the other, they are ostracized and, or isolated in the country of
study (Zhai & Du, 2020). Students with poor financial situations and those, who are far from home, also had a lot of
problems such as losing their place in the hostel, having to spend money on tickets home, or rent an apartment and bear
other expenses.
We used data mining from the logs of the Russian portal of mass open courses (MOOC) "Open education" to evaluate
the work of students on the electronic part of the course, offering more than 500 courses at the moment.
With the help of data mining taken from "Philosophy" MOOC, we got data on the passing of intermediate control by
SPbPU students. We evaluated the topics of the whole spring semester of 2020 (from the beginning of the learning
process on February 10 up to May 18). Taking into account that in March there was a complete cancellation of full-time
classes. We analysed data on the course results in terms of demographics and the represented institutions’ data.
The course is available to everyone who wants to study it. However, for this study, we considered only students of
SPbPU, who signed up for the course, totalling 3,122 people. The majority of students are male (1956), 969 are female,
and 197 chose not to reveal their gender.
The philosophy course in the blended learning format is mandatory for the first-year students of SPbPU, but some
students take it in the fall semester, while others consider it in the spring semester. According to official data, the course
was taken by students of the Institutes of Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering and Transport, Civil Engineering, Energy
and Transport Systems, Applied Mathematics and Mechanics and Physics, Nanotechnology and Telecommunications in
the spring semester. Students of other Institutes are either re-engaged (at their request or did not pass the course), or
transferred from different Universities, and have an academic difference.
Table 1: Distribution of students by Institution in the philosophy course in spring 2020
Institute of SPbPU of students (people)
Institute of Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering, and Transport
Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE)
Institute of Energy and Transport Systems (IETS)
Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (IAMM)
Institute of Physics, Nanotechnology, and Telecommunications
Institute of Humanities (IH)
Institute of Computer Science and Technology (ICST)
Institute of Industrial Management, Economics, and Trade (IIMET)
Institute of Biomedical Systems and Technologies (IBST)
MOOC "Philosophy" lasts fifteen weeks. During this period, a new course part is opened every week, consisting of
video lectures on each topic (from 1 to 3 in the section), lecture notes, and presentations. Each chapter contains three
assignments. The first task is a test, which consists of 10 questions related to the materials of the lecture. The second one
is a practical lesson with seven test questions. The last assignment is an independent work aimed at the analysis of a
philosophical text, where the answer is in the form of a word or a phrase, which students provide themselves. At the end
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of the course, students have a final test with a time limit. Where within an hour students answer 50 test questions. On the
schedule, each section is available for a period of two up to 4 weeks. The limits depend on course complexity. As a rule,
there are two open topics at the same time. Also, the portal has a forum for interaction between teachers and students, it
is possible to see your current rating, and there is an additional information section.
Table 2: Schedule for opening access to the “Philosophy” topics for the spring semester of 2020
Opening/closing dates for topic
February 10 - March 2
Topic 1.1. Introduction to Philosophy
Topic 2.1. Philosophy of the Ancient world
February 17 - March 2
Topic 2.2. Philosophy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
February 24 - March 9
Topic 2.3. The philosophy of the New Time
March 2 - March 16
Topic 2.4. German classical philosophy
March 9 - March 23
Topic 2.5. Non-classical philosophy of the nineteenth century
March 16 - March 30
Topic 2.6. The main directions and trends of the philosophy
of the XX century
March 23 - April 6
Topic 2.7. Russian philosophy
March 30 - April 13
Topic 3.1. The problem of being. Philosophical understanding
of matter
Topic 3.2. Philosophy of development
April 6 - April 20
Topic 3.3. Philosophy of knowledge
April 13 - April 27
Topic 4.1. Epistemological problems
April 20 May 11
Topic 5.1. Philosophy of science
Topic 5.2. Positivist and postpositivist concepts in the
methodology of science
April 27 - May 18
Topic 6.1. Social philosophy
Topic 6.2 Dynamics and typology of historical development
May 4 - May 25
Topic 7.1 Philosophical anthropology
May 11 - May 25
Topic 8.1. Philosophy of language and philosophy of
May 18 June 1
Final test
On March 16, 2020, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University became one of the first universities in Saint-
Petersburg to switch to a fully electronic distance learning format by order of the rector. This was when the fifth section
of the “Philosophy” course was in progress (see tab.2), i.e. many students have already completed the tasks, while others
had not. Starting from the sixth section opened on March 16, the philosophy course lost its face-to-face component.
To identify changes in the students’ behaviour during the process of switching to the online format, we conducted the
quantitative statistical analysis and visualization of the obtained data.
To assess the impact of the transition to a full e-learning medium, we studied the results of mid-term assessments from
the first week to the twelfth week. The most exciting indicator, in this case, is the number of students who refused to
complete the tasks.
Figure 1 shows the number of students who did not attempt to complete the tasks for the lecture material (yellow),
practice (orange), and independent work (green). In the first part of assignments 1007 students (32.2%) had not
completed the lecture tasks, practical assignments 833 students (26.7%) and independent work 774 (23.8%). Up to
the fourth part of tasks, a slight increase in all indicators is visible, in the fifth part, there is a small jump in the number
of not attempted: 1118 students (35.8%) on lectures, 980 students (31.3%) at practice and 962 students (30.8%) during
the independent work. But a big jump is observed in the sixth week when there was a transition to a completely remote
form: 1519 (48.6%) students did not participate in testing based on the materials of lectures, 1334 students (42.7%)
based on practical classes, 1323 students (42.4%) - upon the result of the independent work. Further, the level of
indicators remains approximately the same, decreasing slightly by week 12 for lecture testing (1427 students 45.7%),
but increasing for independent work (1409 45.1%). Therefore, it is not possible to say that the loss of students is due
to temporary reasons (for example, moving home from St. Petersburg for students from other cities). So, compared with
the level in the first week, it can be noted that by the end of the sixth week the number of “lost” students was from 501
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students when performing practical assignments (16.0% of the total contingent) up to the number of 549 people (17.5%)
when performing their independent work.
Figure 1: The number of students who did not attempt to complete tasks of the course sections
We considered two control points in time to compare different categories of students. The first was the beginning of the
semester from February 10, the second - the sixth week from March 16, when students of SPbPU switched to the
distance-learning format.
In terms of gender, there is some difference in the initial level of not attempted: there were fewer female students (from
18.2% to 23.4%) than among male representatives (from 20.3% to 28.0%), but the percentage of "lost" (the difference
between 1 and 6 weeks) differs much less: female students (15.1-16.1%), and male students (15.5-17.2%).
A significant change in the percentage of not attempted students in the period between week one and week six occurs in
all institutions regardless of the specialty received (Table 3). We observed the lowest losses for all types of tasks in the
Institute of Civil Engineering (from 10.7% to 12%); the highest ones are in the Institute of Applied Mathematics and
Mechanics (from 17% to 18.7%).
Students of institutes that did not have the “philosophy” course on the schedule of the spring semester 2020 showed a
higher percentage of not attempted from the very first lesson. The reason is that many of them signed up without really
planning to study it (22.5% to 56.5% compared to 17.6% to 36.3% of students that have this discipline in the program).
However, we are interested in the change that occurred between the first and sixth weeks. It turned out that the
percentage of students who stopped completing tasks was higher in this particular group.
However, there are some exceptions, namely students of the Institute of Computer Science and Technology, who studied
independently, showed losses less than in the average for students who studied according to the program (from 10.8% to
Figure 2: Changes in the percentage of test scores for lectures in the first and sixth weeks of learning
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Comparing the percentage of correctly completed tasks during the first and sixth weeks, we can conclude that it
increases. This change is especially noticeable in the example of tests based on lecture materials. For the first week, the
number of students who answered completely correctly was 84.6%, and in the sixth week 93.8% (Figure 2). As for
other tasks, the changes are smaller but have the same tendency to increase the number of correct answers (for practical
classes 92.3% and 93.8%; for independent work 86.3% and 88.5% in the first and sixth weeks)
Table 3: The number of not attempted depending on the Institution in the first and sixth week
of SPbPU
Kind of
% of the total
number of students
studied in the
course of the
Not attempted
in the sixth
week (students)
% of the total
number of students
enrolled in the
course of the
Loss from
the number
of students
Data on the assessments of students’ progress on the topics studied during the 2020 spring semester in the MOOC
“Philosophy” course showed that after switching to the fully online learning format, about one-sixth of the students
stopped completing the course tasks. These changes were not temporary as there were no significant changes in the
number of "not attempted" students after the jump in March when fully e-learning was announced.
It seems that the transition to online education was relatively easy due to a decent level of preparedness of the higher
education system and the overall level of dissemination of information and communication technologies in society.
Moreover, the currently available results of surveys of teachers and students show that the existing problems, both
technical and psychological, are not strongly pronounced (Mailizar et al., 2020; Trung et al., 2020; Baranova et al.,
2020). At the same time, it should be noted that although student surveys provide important information when evaluating
the transition to fully e-learning, it is likely that such surveys cover to a much lesser extent the category of students that
we have called "lost". There is a need for having research that shows objective indicators of the consequences of
switching to online learning. One example of such kind of investigation is the performance of students in an electronic
environment. The research shows that it is difficult for students to continue their studies in the form of e-learning, which
is confirmed by one of the main challenges of online education, which is low completion rates (Xu & Jaggars, 2011).
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Scientists attribute the main reasons for both existing technical problems (Onyema et al., 2020) and the lack of self-
organization of students (Sun et al., 2020).
In this article we used the main indicator “not attempted” (no attempts to complete the task) to analyze changes that have
occurred because of switching to entirely online learning. We consider that it does not directly depend on the
performance or engagement indicators. Nevertheless, some of the students end up the course with gaps in understanding
and have severe problems with the assessment if they do not complete the tasks required, which most often means that
they do not prioritize this course, and also if they skip not all, but part of the assignments. Studies based on data mining
(Romero et al., 2008) indicate that the number of quizzes completed during learning is an excellent predictor of the final
We can draw the following conclusions by analyzing the factors at our disposal that can potentially affect the number of
students who stop completing course assignments. The change in the number of continuing students on the course
influenced both sexes equally. But there was a difference in institutions with different specialities. At the current time,
we can only assume what caused the difference in a number of "lost" students depending on their affiliation to the
Institute. According to our observations, the combined influence of factors relates to the contingent of students and to the
course itself. For example, there is the number of non-resident and international students, for whom the transition to
distance learning may have been more difficult due to technical, financial, and other problems. As we know the
parameters of the online course have a significant impact on the educational activity of students (Paechter et al., 2010).
Although the MOOC course itself was the same for all Institutions of SPbPU, teachers who previously conducted face-
to-face classes continued to communicate with students when dealing with distance education on the forums of the
educational portal, as well as via other means of communication (social networks email, etc.). Teachers independently
determined the frequency and form of communication, so that it could vary significantly for students of different
institutes of the university. In particular, students of the Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics were given a
task in the form of writing essays on two topics in the period from April 9 to May 9. Students of the Institute of Civil
Engineering had a diverse system of tasks with deadlines for different dates of March, April, and May. Besides once a
week, interactive dialogues were held with these students on the forum of the educational portal by the topics of classes.
Therefore, several studies indicate that the influence of greater support for the course from the teacher is an important
factor in the success of e-learning (Gaytan, 2015; Tawafak et al., 2020; Wuellner, 2013). A separate fact that deserves
further consideration is the behaviour of students. The Institute of Computer Science and Technology went through the
process of switching to online learning more easily than other institutes. The high digital literacy skills of computer
specialization students are obvious. That can play an important role in e-learning as shown in the study (Hamutoğlu et
al., 2019). However, a great number of modern students can also have a high level of digital literacy skills (Händel et al.,
2020). We can suppose that this is owing to students’ close or professional acquaintance with information and
communication technologies and their habit of constant work in a digital environment. This information is rather unusual
but requires further study to identify the key factors that influence the behaviour of this group of students in online
Among those students who took the course on their own, and not according to the curriculum of the semester, the losses
were the largest - up to 35% of those enrolled in the course. These results show that the problem of e-learning is not just
a question of the form of classes, which has not changed for students who took the course independently. Moreover, this
is the matter of the atmosphere of studying at university, which encourages them to learn. Those students who needed or
wanted to take the course on their own due to various circumstances, the termination of the face-to-face study had a
more significant negative effect.
As for the results of passing the tasks, most students do an excellent job with the course tasks based on the available
material. However, even here, we can draw some conclusions if we compare the sum of assessments in the first and the
sixth weeks. As discussed above, the number of students fell. At the same time concerning all three options of tasks the
percentage of those students who answered correctly increased, starting from the sixth week. Although the changes are
not very significant, they show that weaker students who have to deal with increasingly complex sections or topics are
lost during the transition period to electronic format.
The experience gained as a result of the forced transition to online education allowed us to immediately move several
steps forward in the field of electronic technologies application. Those changes in the curriculum, requirements for
teachers and students, in the use of information and communication technologies passed during a few weeks due to the
situation of emergency that would normally take several years. The results of this experience allow the management of
higher education institutions to consolidate new emerging practices, use the created and developed learning materials
and practices.
Owing to the availability of educational portals with online courses from many leading universities and having the
universities’ own learning management system, various communication platforms (MS Teams, Zoom, Google Class, and
others), and despite the situation of forced isolation students were able to continue their education, even in a modified
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However, the transition to entire online learning still caused damage to the educational process. This study points out to
such a component as the refusal of some students to continue performing assignments required in the course. The biggest
losses were among those students who were engaged in the course on their own, and not on a schedule.
This leads to the conclusion that we need to consider the advantages and obstacles to e-learning more broadly than just
analyzing the form of course submission. Full-time education at the university is a certain lifestyle that motivates
students to study, which they have to refuse to be entirely involved in e-learning.
This study is limited to one University and one subject, while an investigation of a combination of studies at universities
in different countries, which also faced the need to quickly switch to fully online classes, can provide a more complete
picture of the opportunities and challenges of e-education in the higher education system.
In addition, at the time of writing this article, the Philosophy course under the study had not been completed. So, it is not
known exactly how great a negative impact on the assimilation of the course and the final assessment of students'
progress a sharp transition to fully e-learning had. This article examines the behaviour of the same students on the same
course in the blended and online learning situation, which allows us to observe the most obvious consequences. At the
same time, we cannot ignore the fact that the transition situation itself could be accompanied by stress due to the
pandemic, and in some cases, the deterioration of the Internet connection, which could have affected the students’
decision to not participate in the intermediate tasks. In this article, we have focused on the most obvious indicator, which
is the non-participation of students in the tasks related to the assessment of their performance. In the future, more
detailed studies of students’ behaviour in the online environment using data mining are needed to allow us to understand
how the fully online learning environment impacts students’ educational strategies.
Data mining has made it possible to assess in detail the changes in students’ learning behaviour after switching to an
exclusively online format. It includes the assessment of time spent on different parts of the course, the sequence of
elements, the distribution, and management of study time during the day and week, etc. In turn, this allows stakeholders,
especially educational policymakers, curriculum experts, and management of higher education institutions to understand
the changes that are taking place and to plan their strategies to optimize students’ academic achievement.
This paper was financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation on the program
to improve the competitiveness of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) among the world's
leading research and education centres in 2016-2020.
The authors are grateful to the organizers of the conference "Professional Culture of the Specialist of the Future" (Peter
the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University).
Conceptualization, D.B. and Z.B.; Data curation, V.L.; Formal analysis, D.B., and V.L.; Investigation, D.B., V.L. and
T.N.; Methodology, V.L.; Software, T. N..; Supervision, D.B.; Visualization, T.N..; Writingoriginal draft, D.B., and
V.L.; Writingreview & editing, T.N., and Z.B.
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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been around for some time, but several studies highlighted different issues associated with them, including quality. The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed their second blooming, where MOOCs have seen a surge in enrollments since March 2020. This study intended to explore how this enrollment reflected on the research studies included in scientific publications, indexed by Web of Science. Specifically, the bibliometric mapping analyses of 108 studies have revealed an ongoing trend in the countries contributing to the MOOCs research, namely USA, China, UK and Spain. Additionally, MOOCs research coming from US, UK and other western countries was decreasing before the pandemic and showed a continuous dramatic reduction also during the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing attention in MOOCs research among less represented countries was also observed. Besides, most of the topics focused on by MOOCs research during the pandemic were mainly related to education and engineering.
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In our study, we explore the impacts of remote and online education framework introduced as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic in the case of two subjects (Macroeconomics and International Economics) taught at the Faculty of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism, Budapest Business School. We analyzed the measures of the education change, the effects of the change on the final results of the students and introduced the experiences of our students and teachers in this period. The primary data required for the analysis were diaries maintained by teachers and information available through the electronic study systems supporting online learning (CooSpace, Neptun), as well as student and teacher questionnaires and teacher interviews. The results for both subjects show that, despite the unmodified difficulty level of the exam questions, student performance improved during the remote learning period. The implications of the study are therefore as follows: the coronavirus changed the educational framework of our university; the performance of students improved on both subjects; preparation time for teachers has increased, exam preparation time for students has also increased; consequently, the online solutions used in the distance learning period, have changed the attitudes of the students and teachers, as well.
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In this paper, we analyzed students’ and teachers’ motivation factors and attitudes towards total transition to online learning. To collect the data on students’ perceptions we conducted two online surveys (in the beginning of transition and after the 9 weeks of online experience). To get results on teachers’ perceptions we conducted two online interviews (in the beginning of transition and after the 9 weeks of online experience). According to the obtained results students’ motivation factors and attitudes toward online learning improved after 9 weeks of online experience that was mostly impacted by a relevant combination of e-learning tools and teachers’ support. Interviews with teachers showed the positive trend in their motivation and attitudes to online learning due to convenient online platform, however they complained about high workload. We can conclude that adaptation period was successful, students and teachers got used to work in online environment that reflected in their motivation level and positive attitude.
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This study analyzed the current situation of education in the context of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The worldwide health emergency situation has caused the confinement of people and with it, the closure of centers and the transfer of face-to-face education to online education. Faced with these facts, teachers have had to adapt at a dizzying pace not only to new methodological approaches, but also to their own confinement, presenting high levels of stress. The purpose of this study is to offer a proposal that optimizes the work of education professionals in the current context of a pandemic through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) under the novel approach of the contributions of neuroeducation in the field of managing emotions and motivational processes, contributing to meaningful learning in students. The symbiosis of ICT and neuroeducation can make a great contribution to the paradigm shift that is taking place today.
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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak poses serious concerns to global education systems. Efforts to contain COVID-19 prompted unscheduled closure of schools in more than 100 countries worldwide. COVID-19 school closures left over one billion learners out of school. The study investigates the impact of COVID-19 on education. Data were collected through structured questionnaires administered to 200 respondents that consist of teachers, students, parents, and policy makers selected from different countries. The collected data were analyzed using STATA/Regression. The results show that COVID-19 has adverse effects on education including, learning disruptions, and decreased access to education and research facilities, Job losses and increased student debts. The findings also show that many educators and students relied on technology to ensure continued learning online during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, online education was hindered by poor infrastructures including, network, power, inaccessibility and unavailability issues and poor digital skills. The study underscores the damaging effects of COVID-19 on education sector and the need for all educational institutions, educators, and learners to adopt technology, and improve their digital skills in line with the emerging global trends and realities in education.
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A dataset was constructed to examine Vietnamese student's learning habits during the time schools were suspended due to the novel coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), in response to a call for interdisciplinary research on the potential effects of the coronavirus pandemic (Elsevier, 2020). The questionnaires were spread over a network of educational communities on Facebook from February 7 to February 28, 2020. Using the snowball sampling method, researchers delivered the survey to teachers and parents to provide formal consent before they forwarded it to their students and children. In order to measure the influence of students’ socioeconomic status and occupational aspirations on their learning habits during school closures, the survey included three major groups of questions: (1) Individual demographics, including family socioeconomic status, school type, and occupational aspirations; (2) Student's learning habits, including hours of learning before and during the period of school suspension, with and without other people's support; and (3) Students’ perceptions of their self-learning during the school closures. There was a total of 920 clicks on the survey link, but only 460 responses accompanied by consent forms were received. Non-credible answers (e.g., year of birth after 2009, more than 20 hours of learning per day) were eliminated. The final dataset included 420 valid observations.
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The COVID-19 pandemic led to the adoption of severe measures to counteract the spread of the infection. Social distancing and lockdown measures modified people’s habits, while the Internet gained a major role in supporting remote working, e-teaching, online collaboration, gaming, video streaming, etc. All these sudden changes put unprecedented stress on the network. In this paper, we analyze the impact of the lockdown enforcement on the Politecnico di Torino campus network. Right after the school shutdown on the 25th of February, PoliTO deployed its own in-house solution for virtual teaching. Ever since, the university provides about 600 virtual classes daily, serving more than 16 000 students per day. Here, we report a picture of how the pandemic changed PoliTO’s network traffic. We first focus on the usage of remote working and collaboration platforms. Given the peculiarity of PoliTO online teaching solution that is hosted in-house, we drill down on the traffic, characterizing both the audience and the network footprint. Overall, we present a snapshot of the abrupt changes seen on campus traffic due to COVID-19, and testify how the Internet has proved robust to successfully cope with challenges while maintaining the university operations.
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The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is not only affecting human health, but it is also affecting other aspects of human life, including the education sector. In many countries, the recommendation of health authorities forced the education sector to find an alternative of face-to-face session method. The distance learning method may be the best option for students in a forced situation. Even though e-learning is a hot topic, e-learning is still more of a supplement to education in normal conditions. This study wants to see the factors influencing e-learning satisfaction and performance to respondents who are forced to join e-learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A descriptive quantitative study using a structured questionnaire as the instrument was conducted to University Students at 4 campuses in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia. They were asked to self-rate the goal orientation, perceived ease of use, service quality, information quality, e-learning satisfaction, and perceived performance. One hundred fifty-three questionnaires were analyzed with SEM LISREL. The finding of the study shows that perceived ease of use (PEOU) and service quality have significant positive impacts on e-learning satisfaction, but not goal orientation and information quality. E-learning satisfaction positively influences to perceived performance. This study contributes to D&M IS Success Model and e-learning body of evidence. This study also contributes to e-learning practice.
Using a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by over 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State, this study examines the performance gap between online and face-to-face courses and how the size of that gap differs across student subgroups and academic subject areas. While all types of students in the study suffered decrements in performance in online courses, those with the strongest declines were males, younger students, Black students, and students with lower grade point averages. Online performance gaps were also wider in some academic subject areas than others. After controlling for individual and peer effects, the social sciences and the applied professions (e.g., business, law, and nursing) showed the strongest online performance gaps.
Litao Sun, Yongming Tang and Wei Zuo reflect on their experience of nationwide distance learning in China’s universities during the COVID-19 outbreak.