e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Distance Learning in Higher Education during COVID-19 Global Crisis: UAE Educators’ Perspectives

Jamal N. Al-Karaki 1 2, Nedal Ababneh 1, Yasir Hamid 1, Amjad Gawanmeh 3 4 *

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 13, Issue 3, Article No: ep311

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The COVID-19 Pandemic affected all sectors worldwide including education sector changing the students learning environment at a large scale. In the education sector, governments had to close schools and universities around the world and turn into online mode of delivery. The sudden transformation to online learning demands educators and institutions to develop more innovative teaching methods in supporting students during this growing crisis. It is pertinent that this is the era of large-scale online learning, where education is delivered remotely utilizing various digital platforms. To this end, this move presented many challenges to students, educators, families, administrators, and government regulations. In this paper, we conduct an oriented and well-rounded survey that captures all aspects of distance learning verticals as perceived by educators in order to study online delivery aspects, including teaching models, communication media, and teaching best practices in distance learning. The paper will answer subtle and comprehensive questions related to student satisfaction and success, technical needs and challenges, teaching models, educator mobility, etc. across different universities in the UAE. In particular, the paper tries to identify best model to use given many key issues related to the adoption of e-learning during COVID-19. Overall, the survey results showed almost all participants agreed that online learning during the COVID-19 is a very good alternative solution to Face-to-Face approach. However, teaching models do vary in promoting students’ participation and students’ engagement. All participants agree that absence of the proper infrastructure at home will hinder the operation especially in courses with hands-on components. Finally, the educators questioned the credibility of online assessments despite the enforced exam integrity tools and methods. The paper concluded with many recommendations for continuous development of the distance learning systems during and after COVID -19.