Insights into Engineering Education Teaching Practice in Slovenian Primary Schools during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Distance Learning Model

  • Bernarda Urankar Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Janez JamÅ¡ek Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: blended learning, distance learning model, engineering education, online learning tools, teaching practice, technology teacher


When the Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020, the educational process had to be redesigned to meet current needs. At the Faculty of Education of the University of Ljubljana, pre-service engineering and technology teachers (3rd and 4th years of undergraduate two-subject teachers’ study programme) are obliged to complete a teaching practice in educational institutions and submit a teaching practice diary. Due to the closure of primary schools, the teaching practice was transformed to distance/online practice. This empirical study examines a recently developed intuitive model for distance learning, which took place during the teaching practice. Teaching practice diaries served as an instrument for gathering data. The sample size encompasses 56 lesson plan activities for the compulsory primary school Design and Technology subject for students aged 12–15 years at 15 primary schools in different parts of Slovenia carried out during online teaching practice by 11 pre-service technology teachers in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic years. The research methodology is focused on lesson-type determination and model elements analysis in lesson plan making and implementation activity. Distance learning model elements are evaluated with regard to online/offline learning tools from e-learning platforms to engineering education field-specific tools (e.g., technical drawings and electric circuits). Online teaching practice was as new for pre-service technology teachers and teacher-mentors as online learning was new for students. The advantages and disadvantages are highlighted. Furthermore, the distance learning model from the first Covid-19 wave teaching practice was adapted to challenge the second Covid-19 wave. The pandemic has enabled the rise of blended learning, which has been gaining focus in secondary and higher education levels in recent years; however, it encountered obstacles when entering the primary school domain. How to encompass blended learning into the evolved distance learning model will be shown.


Download data is not yet available.


Anderson, T. (2011). The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). AU Press.

Anderson, T. (2016). Theories for learning with emerging tech. Emerging tech in distance education, 7(1), 7–23.

Bonk, C. J., & Graham, C. R. (2005). The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs. John Wiley & Sons.

Bosch, C. (2016). Promoting self-directed learning through the implementation of cooperative learning in a higher education blended learning environment. Doctoral dissertation North-West University.

Burke, J., & Dempsey, M. (2020). Technical report: Covid-19 practice in primary schools in Ireland report.

Choudhury, S., & Pattnaik, S. (2020). Emerging themes in e-learning: a review from the stakeholders’ perspective. Computers & Education, 144(January 2020), 103657.

Burke, J., ˛Dempsey, M. (2020). Technical report: Covid-19 Practice in Primary Schools in Ireland Report. Dublin, Maynooth University.

Dabbagh, N. (2005). Pedagogical models for e-learning: A theory-based design framework. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 6(3), 25–44.

Deimann, M., & Friesen, N. (2013). Exploring the educational potential of open educational resources. E-Learning and Digital Media, 10(2), 112–115.

DvorÅ¡Äak, M., & JamÅ¡ek, J. (2017). Obrnjeneno uÄenje z metodo uÄenja z odkrivanjem pri pouku tehnike in tehnologije [Teaching design & tecnology by flipped learning method of Blended learning]. In B. Zajc & A. Trost (Eds.), Zbornik Å¡tiriindvajsete mednarodne ElektrotehniÅ¡ke in raÄunalniÅ¡ke konference ERK 2017 (pp. 547–550). IEEE Region 8, Slovenska sekcija IEEE.

Gagne, R., Briggs, L., & Wager, W. (1998). Principles of instructional design (3rd ed.) Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Huang, R. H., Liu, D. J., Tlili, A., Yang, J. F., Wang, H. H., Jemni, M., & Burgos, D. (2020). Handbook on facilitating flexible learning during educational disruption: The Chinese experience in maintaining undisrupted learning in COVID-19 Outbreak. SLIBNU.

Jansen, J. (2004). Changes and continuities in South Africa’s higher education system; 1994 to 2004 in L. Chisholm (Ed.), Changing class: Education and social change in postapartheid South Africa. Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

Kahiigi, E. K. (2008). Exploring the e-learning state of art. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(2), 77–88.

Kemeny, J., & Kurtz, T. (1967). The Dartmouth time-sharing system. National Science Foundation.

Kosec, Å ., Rozman, T., & JamÅ¡ek, J. (2020). Sodobne uÄne strategije in tehnologije: lažna obrnjena uÄilnica s poizvedovalnim uÄenjem in 3D tiskom [Contemporary learning methods and strategies: Faux-Flipped Classroom by inquiry based learning and 3D printing]. In B. Zajc, & A. Trost (Eds.), Zbornik Å¡tiriindvajsete mednarodne ElektrotehniÅ¡ke in raÄunalniÅ¡ke konference ERK 2020 (pp. 429–432). IEEE Region 8, Slovenska sekcija IEEE.

Kurt, S. (2017). ADDIE Model: Instructional Design. International Society for Educational Technology.

Lack, K. A. (2013). Current status of research on online learning in postsecondary education.

LebeniÄnik, M., Pitt, I., & IsteniÄ StarÄiÄ A. (2015). Use of online learning resources in the development of learning environments at the intersection of formal and informal learning: The students as autonomous designer. CEPS Journal, 5(2), 95–113.

Lokar, N., & JamÅ¡ek, J. (2017). Sodobne metode pouÄevanja v tehniÅ¡kem izobraževanju: kombinirano uÄenje pri predmetu tehnika in tehnologija [Contemporary learning methods in engineering education: Design & technology by blended learning]. In B. Zajc & A. Trost (Eds.), Zbornik Å¡tiriindvajsete mednarodne ElektrotehniÅ¡ke in raÄunalniÅ¡ke konference ERK 2017 (pp. 551–554). IEEE Region 8, Slovenska sekcija IEEE.

Lowenthal, P., & Wilson, B. G. (2010). Labels do matter! A critique of AECT's redefinition of the field. TechTrends, 54(1), 38−46.

Madar, M. J., & Willis, O. (2014). Strategic model of implementing e-learning. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 3(5), 2277–8616.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., & Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1–47.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies.

Moore, M. G. (2013). Handbook of distance education. Routledge.

Nguyen, T. (2015). The effectiveness of online learning: Beyond no significant difference and future horizons. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 11(2), 309–319.

Nikoubakht, A., & Kiamanesh, A. (2019). The comparison of the effectiveness of computer-based education and traditional education on the numerical memory in students with mathematics disorder. Journal of Psychological Science, 18(73), 55–65.

Orr, D., Weller, M., & Farrow, R. (2018). Models for online, open, flexible and technology-enhanced higher education across the globe – a comparative analysis. International Council for Open and Distance Education.

Picciano, A. G. (2017). Theories and frameworks for online education: Seeking an integrated model. Online Learning, 21(3), 166–190.

Peters, O. (1994). Distance education and industrial production: A comparative interpretation in outline (1967). In D. Keegan (Ed.), Otto Peters on distance education: The industrialisation of teaching and learning, 107–127. Routledge.

Mpungose, C. B. (2020). Beyond limits: Lecturers’ reflections on Moodle uptake in South African universities. Education and Information Technologies, 25(1), 5033–5052.

RihtarÅ¡iÄ, D., & JamÅ¡ek, J. (2019). Izzivi in priložnosti uporabe IKT v ped. proc. na podroÄju naravoslovja, tehnol. in mat.: Razvoj gradiva za kombinirano uÄenje pri izvajanju predavanj in kliniÄnih vaj pri predmetu odprti uÄni sistemi v tehniki [Challenges and opportunities at STEM teaching by using ICT: Learning material development for blended learning for open learning systems in engineering lectures and clinical exercises execution]. Univerza v Ljubljani.

Rodrigues, H., Almeida, F., Figueiredo, V., & Lopes, S. L. (2019). Tracking e-learning through published papers: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 136(1), 87–98.

Singh, V., & Thurman, A. (2019). How many ways can we define online learning? A systematic literature review of definitions of online learning (1988–2018). American Journal of Distance Education, 33(4), 289–306.

Suryawanshi, V., & Suryawanshi, D. (2015). Fundamentals of e-learning models: A review. IOSR Journal of Computer Engineering, Innovation in engineering science and technology, 2, 107–120.

Tsai, M.-J. (2009). The model of strategic e-learning: Understanding and evaluating student e-learning from metacognitive perspectives. Educational Technology & Society, 12(1), 34–48.,

Urankar, B., & JamÅ¡ek, J. (2020). UÄenje na daljavo: spletno uÄenje v osnovnoÅ¡olskem tehniÅ¡kem izobraževanju - pedagoÅ¡ka praksa [Distance learning: primary school technology education online learning – padagogical practice]. In B. Zajc & A. Trost (Eds.), Zbornik Å¡tiriindvajsete mednarodne ElektrotehniÅ¡ke in raÄunalniÅ¡ke konference ERK 2020 (pp. 438–442). IEEE Region 8, Slovenska sekcija IEEE.

How to Cite
Urankar, B., & Jamšek, J. (2022). Insights into Engineering Education Teaching Practice in Slovenian Primary Schools during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Distance Learning Model. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 12(4), 233-264.