e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Online or remote education? Preferences of Colombian higher education students

Carmen Ricardo 1 * , Camilo Vieira 1, Roxana Quintero-Manes 1, John Cano 2

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 15, Issue 4, Article No: ep465

Submitted: 14 June 2023, Published Online: 22 August 2023

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While some students had experience receiving online education prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergency remote modality offered a different experience given that higher education faculty had limited time for planning and, most of them, did not have any experience in online education. This research aims to identify the differences between undergraduate students’ perceptions and preferences on emergency remote and online education. Researchers identified a set of online education courses–that pre-existed COVID-19 times–and courses that were transformed into remote education courses–designed as a response of the COVID-19 emergency. Participants of this study are a group of students who, during the same academic semester, participated in both online and (emergency) remote courses. Researchers used a survey to understand students’ perceptions and preferences assessing their experiences in different dimensions (e.g., interaction and evaluation). Researchers used the add-on preferential groups model to identify which of the two modalities was preferred by the students for each dimension. The quantitative analysis was complemented using content analysis of responses to open-ended questions, seeking to gain a better understanding of students’ perceptions and preferences between online and emergency remote education. The results show that students have a positive view of the online and remote modalities; however, each of these modalities offers students advantages for specific dimensions. For example, the remote modality was preferred for having greater interaction among peers and with the instructor. On the other hand, online education provided more flexibility. Students suggested improving assessments’ approaches and instructors’ technological skills for both modalities.



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