E-Learning in Higher Education amidst Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities Faced by the Students of the University of Delhi

  • Vibha Mathur Professor, Department of Commerce, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India https://orcid.org/0009-0007-5376-8602
  • Priyanka Marwah Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
Keywords: Covid-19, E-learning, Higher Education, Pandemic, ICT Tools, EdTech

Abstract

The year 2020 witnessed the outbreak of Covid-19, a disease caused by SARS-COV-2 virus. After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a Pandemic, several counties decided to shut down all activities as a consequence of a health emergency. The virus had severely impacted more than 157 crore students across 191 countries around the world. The pandemic shook the normalcy in every sphere of life and forced the closure of educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and Universities across the world. The crisis left the educational institutions with no other option but to resort to distance learning. Hence, ‘E-learning’ emerged as the new normal for the teaching fraternity. With rampant use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), a new reality of virtual teaching and learning has dawned with an escalated penetration of online activities. Webinar and Faculty Development Programmes were organised by various colleges to acquaint the teachers with various digital platforms that could be used as an alternative to the physical, face-to-face teaching-learning among the students of the University of Delhi. Education combined with technology offers numerous opportunities in terms of efficiency but at the same time poses challenges ranging from technical, social, logistical issues to attitudinal changes. A self-structured questionnaire-based study has been conducted. Data has been collected from the students enrolled in the various programmes of the University of Delhi. The aim of the study is to analyse the effectiveness of virtual teaching and assessment methods, and also its impact on the physical and financial health of the students. Statistical tools such as Descriptive statistics, Reliability Analysis, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, one sample t-test and non-parametric hypothesis testing have been applied to achieve the results of the study. The findings suggest that Covid-19 has opened up the educational environment, and acceptability to E-learning in the Indian Context. E-learning has also emerged as a window of opportunity for EdTech start-ups, and such tools can provide a feasible solution, however, they cannot completely substitute the conventional face-to-face interaction-based learning, keeping in mind the various technological, social and economic and health factors that act as a barrier in effective teaching- learning process.

Published
2024-04-01
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