Problems and Opportunities of Distance Learning in The Context of The Pandemic: Case of One University in Kazakhstan
Keywords:distance learning, COVID-19, pandemic, Kazakhstan , institutional research , educational and methodological work
Distance education systems are being actively studied and developed in higher educational institutions of Kazakhstan, and have already passed the path from the distance learning system to Intelligent flexible learning model based on Web technologies. The advantages of online learning are classroom and platform independence. The goal of various intelligent learning systems is to use knowledge about the field of study, the learner, and learning strategies to provide flexible, individualized study and training. Many Kazakhstani universities were engaged in distance learning as part of the implementation of the second higher education. Obtaining a second higher education in Kazakhstan refers to studying in higher education programs after completing studies at the first higher education in the form of a bachelor's or specialist's degree. By obtaining a second higher education, you can get a degree or qualification in another educational program. The purpose of this empirical research is to study the attitudes of students regarding distance learning and to identify problems in the fulfillment of distance learning in an emergency transition. The study uses a quantitative research method based on a one-dimensional data analysis using descriptive statistics. In order to assess the level of distance learning organization process, the institutional study was initiated at the Kazakh National Women’s Teacher Training University and conducted by the Research Institute for Social and Gender Studies. Based on this study recommendations were developed to improve the educational, methodological, social and educational work of the university, including the use of library resources in the conditions of distance learning. The study was conducted during June - July 2020. The study involved 677 students from all faculties of the university, including bachelor and master degree students, doctoral students. The study was prompted by: the need to assess the quality and level of organization of distance learning at the university; the need to identify problems (issues) of educational and social adaptation of the first-year students; the need to establish the degree of satisfaction of students with the distance learning process. The survey also allows to determine: the most effective forms of distance learning; study the performance indicators of the services provided by the university; to study the indicators of adaptation of students, master degree and doctoral students (satisfaction with the results; deficit experienced by students); evaluate the effectiveness of the work of deans, teachers and advisors from among teachers from the point of view of students. This research identifies the problems in the transition from traditional to distance learning and difficulties that arise when students receive high-quality professional education. Recommendations are developed to optimize the work of university structures aimed at improving the efficiency of the institutes’ work and psychological services. The results obtained will make it possible to make managerial decisions based on information that considers the opinion of consumers of educational services.