Challenge Accepted: Experiences of Turkish Faculty Members at the Time of Emergency Remote Teaching
The Covid-19 pandemic caught everyone unprepared. Higher education institutions were expected to be the least affected due to their long history of distance education, which has enabled the development of expertise and technical infrastructure, but were they? The present study focuses on faculty members’ experiences at the time of emergency remote teaching and afterwards. The survey method was devised to conduct the study. An online questionnaire called the Emergency Remote Teaching Views Questionnaire was developed by the researchers and administered at higher education institutions throughout Turkey. With a combination of convenience and snowball sampling, 351 faculty members from 72 different public and private higher education institutions were reached. The descriptive analysis of the data revealed that almost 62% of the faculty members had never taken any form of training regarding online distance education before the Covid-19 pandemic. Although one fifth of the faculty members indicated that they had had distance education experience three times or more before the pandemic, around 62% of them encountered remote teaching for the first time. Many faculty members indicated that they spent more time on remote teaching than face-to-face teaching; they had trouble following students’ development; the students were disinterested in the classes; they had technical problems, but they also received support from their institutions. Although only one fourth of the faculty members reported being unsure about the quality of their remote teaching, three fourths of them believed that it was not as fruitful as face-to-face teaching. This was especially evident in the area of assessment and evaluation. Based on these results, it can be concluded that higher education institutions were caught unprepared, but their adaptation was very quick.
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