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New co-authored research study by Réka Geambașu in Journal of Research in Higher Education

 

 

Perceptions and attitudes of the students of Babeș-Bolyai University towards online, face-to-face, and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Réka Geambașu, Júlia Szabó, Éva László,
Valér Veres & Anamaria Bogdan

 

Journal of Research in Higher Education  Volume VII 2023, No 2, Pages: 5-34




 

Abstract: This paper presents the findings of an exploratory sociological survey conducted at Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca focusing on student experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper aims to investigate student experiences and attitudes toward different modes of education. Our research goals were to evaluate students’ perspectives on online, face-to-face, and hybrid teaching activities, to assess the challenges they faced, to group students into clusters based on their attitudes toward online learning and to identify those factors that shape student experiences and preferences. The study utilizes cluster analysis as a methodological approach to categorize students into three groups according to their preferences for teaching modes: (1) ‘Balancers’ (43.5%) favored a blend of online and in-person classes, (2) ‘Onliners’ or ‘screenagers’ (28.9%) preferred online courses, as opposed to (3) the adepts of face-to-face learning (27.6%). In spite of its challenges, online teaching was preferred by nearly 30% of the students, among whom those pursing their master’s degrees and young people coming from lower status families and thus already in employment were overrepresented. Their experiences and attitudes show that these students have indeed developed effective strategies for online education. In opposition to those who preferred face-to-face classes, ‘onliners’ were more likely to show satisfaction with their teachers, more likely to be better equipped for online courses and also to have passed the exams. With these results the article contributes to the scholarly and expert debate concerning the possible effects of the flexibilization of higher education upon students’ access to tertiary education. We argue that for an important segment of the students, online courses provided a valuable chance to pursue their studies which they took advantage of, showing higher levels of commitment and willingness to meet the university requirements.

Keywords: higher education, COVID-19 pandemic, online education, student experience, student preference

Full text HERE

 

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