Emergence of Learning through Distance Education during COVID-19

Introduction

Distance learning, also termed as Distance education is a form of education that mainly focuses on the physical separation of teachers and students with the use of various technologies to facilitate the communication between teachers and students. According to Uribe and Vaughan (2017) distance learning mainly focuses on non-traditional students which include full-time workers, military personnel along with remote individuals or non-residents of a region. Presently, distance learning has been emerging to become an established element in the educational systems around the globe, owing to its characteristic of physical separation; it has gained advantages and recognition during COVID-19.

1.2 Background

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Distance learning has gained recognition owing to its advantage of maintaining the physical distance between teachers and students. Distance learning is primarily carried out by means of e-learning and online technology with the use of the Internet. As opined by Allen and Seaman (2017) the main characteristics of distance learning are, the distance is carried through the institutions, which assures to provide an academic learning environment. Even if the students and teachers are separated by geography, the access and convenience of the system pose an advantage. The communication is well established and leads connecting individuals and learning groups with a teacher. Most of the private schools around the world became the first in adopting the distance learning techniques and were embraced by both teachers and students for good reasons.

1.3 Research Problem

According to online review, World Economic Forum (2020), it could be acknowledged that distant learning system had its effective rise on its global edtech investments. It includes US $ 18.66 billion. However, the major challenge in this progressive opportunity is associated with learning apps as well as virtual tools that had its surge during COVID 19. In this regard, it was also recognised that digital equipments are least effective in some of the regions due to strategic investments from behalf of Government.

1.4 Aims and Objectives

The aim of this research is to encourage effective distance learning and understand its influence on students across the world

The objectives of the research paper are as follows

  • To identify the factors that affect the distance learning system
  • To examine the difficulties faced in distance learning system among learners based in UK
  • To evaluate the approaches of implications in distance learning education
  • To provide strategic ways of finding advantages and development of distance learning process of education in UK

1.5 Research Questions

The questions related to the proposal that will be prevailing in the research process and guide the researcher are as follows.

  • What would be the factors influencing on distance learning over traditional classroom learning?
  • What would be the intending challenges to be affecting on the entire process of distance learning?
  • What will be the key approaches to applying distance learning systems affecting on changing prospects in the education systems?
  • How will Distance learning facilitate benefits to the future education system?

Rationale

The rationale of this research paper is to understand the concerns arising related to distance learning among teachers and students. The scope of this research is to encourage the system across the globe.

2. Literature review

The review of a literature has been recognised, as the outcome of the analysis of previous theories and studies in association with the learning processes in distant education (Lima et al. 2019). For the paper, the research is based on the emergence of distance learning during the COVID 19 pandemic that has focused in the theoretical and practical approaches of institutions towards distance learning, along with analysing the factors that affect distance learning and the regulatory concerns related to it.

2.1 Factors affecting Learning Distance

According to Bozkurt, (2019), the factors affecting distance learning can be distinguished as external factors and acceptance factors. The primary factors observed by researchers are technical problems and low-level of students’ technical skills, along with computer competency, social pressure, instructors’ qualities.

The technical factors include the evolution of Internet technologies and computer techniques. As mentioned by Liu et al (202), the developing countries still are deprived of the necessary technologies that will facilitate the implementation of the various processes included like delivery of course materials. The student's low-level technical skills obstruct them to readily adapt to the changes emerging in the technology.

2.2 Strategic Framework influencing

The goal of distance learning is to provide the students with the required academic education along with the academic environment so that they can pursue their schooling as per their convenience.

The strategic framework that would help distance learning has to be based on the student's requirements and necessities and include aspects like resources and their availability; faculty support to students, the program quality should be assured (Petri and Karabetsos 2018). The structure should be well designed and implemented by the concerned institutions, observation and evaluation should also be retained.

2.3 Regulatory concerns

The regulatory concerns can be mentioned as creating rule agreements, enhancement of the education quality and policies, reduction of barriers faced by students and maintaining the security especially of the students (Halimi et al. 2020). Moreover, emphasis should be given on learning time; the requirements should be clarified and simplified.

2.4 Summary

The chapter deals with the understanding of the distance learning methods, what can affect the system, the strategic frameworks that will facilitate the working of the process along with the regulation required for adequate and ethical implementation.

3. Methodology Framework

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The methodological framework, as opined by Garg, (2016), can be defined as the methods or techniques acknowledged by the researcher for the purpose of collecting and analysing the information about the research topic. In other words, the method needs to be secondary, in terms of authentic study based on journals from institutions, publication, newspaper articles and magazines on previous research.

3.1 Discussion on framework

The framework to be used for the research need to be based thematic analysis, as per case study identification various sources, as opinion differs from one to another. It could be relied upon ethnographic manner, as people involved in the system were supposed to be students and teachers involved in the earlier times and had to face certain challenges as well in the market.

3.2 Secondary Method of Research

The secondary data collection would be performed with the help of existing data, which can be availed from libraries, websites or information retrieved from previous surveys. It can be considered, as cost-effective and reliable. The data would be readily available on the internet, from governmental and non-governmental agencies and from public libraries.

3.3 Data Collection

The required information for the paper would be dependent on numerous techniques that will be studied especially included in secondary evidences and research papers as well. At the same time, it would evaluation and observation of social media audience and trends. The methods to be used for collecting data might be thematic or it can be descriptive statistics based on the case studies, or through online survey through questionnaires through social media.

3.4 Ethical consideration

As stated by Halimi et al (2020), ethical consideration can be defined as a significant element in the research methods. The research would need to follow certain ethical consideration in order to maintain the ethical principles of the research that include the protection of all data and evidences in respect of secondary research. It needs to be protected under Data Protection Act 2018, as per latest guidelines of the UK government.

3.5 Timeline of the research

According to Sharon and Dori (2017), the use of Gnat chart guides a research plan with scheduling process as well as estimating the overall cost and budget. It would enhance in meeting the deadlines set.

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