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A Year of Online Classes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Advantages, Problems, and Suggestions of Economics Students at a Bangladeshi Public University
: Received: 6 June 2021 / Approved: 10 June 2021 / Online: 10 June 2021 (14:36:09 CEST)
A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.
Journal reference: Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching 2021
Though there have been works highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, no study focused on university-level economics students. None of the studies explored students' opinions about improving the quality and effectiveness of online classes. Many used questionable samples, closed-ended questions, and all those researches were carried out at the beginning of online classes. In this paper, we overcome these limitations of earlier studies. Using a convenience sampling technique and open-ended questions, we collect data from 154 university-level economics students after being exposed to the online class for a year. Some advantages of online classes are: students can do classes from home without being exposed to health risks, easily accessible, flexible class schedule, students remained connected with the study, it saves costs, reduce the likelihood of semester loss, easy to understand, less stressful, and learning new technologies. Major problems from students' perspectives include network problems, difficulties in understanding the topic, unsuitable for mathematical courses, concentration problem, class not interactive, financial constraint, adverse health impacts, device issues, power outages, unfamiliarity with digital technology, internet problem, and unfixed class-schedule. Disadvantages outnumbered advantages. Students made several suggestions to improve the quality and effectiveness of online classes. Some of the vital suggestions are: using state-of-the-art digital tools, recording and uploading lectures, resolving internet issues, holding classes regularly, higher efforts to make the topics easier, resolving network issues, lowering class duration, institutional support, implementing a fixed class schedule, and introducing online evaluation system.
COVID-19; online learning; pandemic; online education; Bangladesh; students' perceptions; higher education; distance learning; online classes
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