ONLINE LEARNING AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN UKRAINE: ACHIEVEMENTS, CHALLENGES, AND HORIZONS
Keywords:open learning; distant learning; open learning and research environment; cloud computing
Online learning has shown considerable growth over the last decade, as the Internet and education were combined to serve millions of people to gain new skills. This paper outlines benchmarking studies of the current online learning trends. We have demonstrated the weak points in organizing and conducting online classes, identified the shortcomings of excessive digitalization of education, and suggested several problem-solving alternatives. We strongly believe that the appropriate arrangement of distance learning is impossible without getting feedback from all participants of the learning process. Our study represents the benefits and challenges of distance learning noticed by students. The given study is the initial stage of the multi-level research. To receive a qualitative and valid result, we developed a questionnaire with cross-sectional questions, which allowed analysing each question from multiple perspectives, namely we were interested in the opinion of students on the following issues: transition to entirely distance learning; the role of a teacher in distance learning; the influence of distance learning format on the education quality (perception, understanding, learning, and mastering the material); difficulties and challenges. After examining the data obtained, we have managed to single out the following aspects: the most advisable forms of ICT use in the learning organization, balanced learning workload, and communication between teacher and student; co-ordination within the institution to avoid students' overload, which leads to demotivation and physical fatigue to cope with the scope of learning materials. The findings of this study indicate weak aspects in the organization and use of ICT in education. Based on these findings, we offered strategies for successful distance and blended learning. Besides, our findings must be taken into account when organizing blended learning.
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