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      Students’ online learning challenges during the pandemic and how they cope with them: The case of the Philippines


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          Recently, the education system has faced an unprecedented health crisis that has shaken up its foundation. Given today’s uncertainties, it is vital to gain a nuanced understanding of students’ online learning experience in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many studies have investigated this area, limited information is available regarding the challenges and the specific strategies that students employ to overcome them. Thus, this study attempts to fill in the void. Using a mixed-methods approach, the findings revealed that the online learning challenges of college students varied in terms of type and extent. Their greatest challenge was linked to their learning environment at home, while their least challenge was technological literacy and competency. The findings further revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic had the greatest impact on the quality of the learning experience and students’ mental health. In terms of strategies employed by students, the most frequently used were resource management and utilization, help-seeking, technical aptitude enhancement, time management, and learning environment control. Implications for classroom practice, policy-making, and future research are discussed.

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          Is Open Access

          The sudden transition to synchronized online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: a qualitative study exploring medical students’ perspectives

          Background The closure of educational activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unplanned shift from traditional learning to a setup that exclusively involves digital teaching and learning. Within this context, the present study aimed to explore undergraduate medical students’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of synchronized online learning at Unaizah College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. Methods A qualitative study was conducted using virtual focus group discussions synchronously with the help of a discussion guide consisting of seven open-ended questions. Overall, 60 medical students were recruited using a maximum variation sampling technique; these students then participated in eight focus group discussions. All interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for thematic contents using the standard (Mayring, Kiger. M. E. and Braun.V) content analysis framework. Results A thematic content analysis yielded four core themes: (1) educational impact, (2) time management, (3) challenges encountered, and (4) preferences for the future. The online modality was well-received, and all participants agreed that online sessions were time saving and that their performance was improved due to enhanced utility of time; however, they indicated that they encountered some challenges, including methodological, content perception, technical, and behavioral challenges during sessions and online exams. Most of the preclinical students preferred online learning for the upcoming academic years. Conclusion Synchronized online classes were well-accepted by the medical students. This represents significant and promising potential for the future of medical education. The principles of the online learning model and learning outcomes should be rigorously and regularly evaluated to monitor its effectiveness.
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            Using self-report questionnaires in OB research: A comment on the use of a controversial method

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              "Everything Is Perfect, and We Have No Problems": Detecting and Limiting Social Desirability Bias in Qualitative Research.

              Many qualitative research studies acknowledge the possibility of social desirability bias (a tendency to present reality to align with what is perceived to be socially acceptable) as a limitation that creates complexities in interpreting findings. Drawing on experiences conducting interviews and focus groups in rural Ethiopia, this article provides an empirical account of how one research team developed and employed strategies to detect and limit social desirability bias. Data collectors identified common cues for social desirability tendencies, relating to the nature of the responses given and word choice patterns. Strategies to avoid or limit bias included techniques for introducing the study, establishing rapport, and asking questions. Pre-fieldwork training with data collectors, regular debriefing sessions, and research team meetings provided opportunities to discuss social desirability tendencies and refine approaches to account for them throughout the research. Although social desirability bias in qualitative research may be intractable, it can be minimized.

                Author and article information

                Educ Inf Technol (Dordr)
                Educ Inf Technol (Dordr)
                Education and Information Technologies
                Springer US (New York )
                28 May 2021
                : 1-18
                GRID grid.443176.3, ISNI 0000 0004 0513 354X, College of Education, Arts and Sciences, , National University, ; Manila, Philippines
                Author information
                © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2021

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                : 22 January 2021
                : 17 May 2021

                covid-19,remote learning,online learning,online learning strategies,higher education


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