Exclusive Notes of Iranian Social Workers

How Did COVID-19 Change Education Methods?

How Did COVID-19 Change Education Methods?
Samin Farahzadi

The spread of COVID-19 has changed different aspects of people’s life. These changes have happened very fast and most people found it difficult to adapt. The virus had infected over 210 million people worldwide, and the number of deaths had reached 4.4 million. The complications of this disease exceed the number of cases and deaths and have various psychological, economic and social effects. One of the first strategies to confront the COVID-19 Outbreak was quarantine and lockdown which led to school and university closures. This Strategy forced students, teachers, and educators to experience online education. Several studies around the world focused on the effect of COVID-19 on education. According to the UN report, the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94 per cent of the world’s student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle income countries.

Countries around the world have chosen different strategies to deal with the destructive effects of COVID-19 on education. For example, In Indonesia, new strategies such as contextualization, proper delivery, high adaptation on using technology, adequate support, quality participation, and sustainable processes were used. They suggested that teachers should divide lessons into several parts of the session, such as teaching content materials, dividing classrooms into small groups, separating materials into small topic areas for discussion, and adopting a simple and effective teaching technique. One of the important considerations that must be solved is internet connectivity and access, also many senior lecturers get a trouble in hosting the online education and a teaching assistant from the junior who master the ICT matters can be helpful.
In Iran one review study has compared the problems and opportunities of higher education in Iran and around the world during the pandemic. According to this study, there was a decrease in student enrollment, chaos in universities, trial and error due to ambiguity, suspension of research, dissertations and thesis in basic and laboratory sciences, and an extension of the study period which were the challenges that Iran faced with. On the other hands, the most effective opportunities include providing appropriate access to guides for e-learning, tailoring assessments (practical lessons, skills) to reduce cheating and achieve the desired goals, media and video training, group training, more flexible activity design learning assignments and more accuracy in preparing appropriate educational content.

In Spain, the effects of COVID-19 confinement on the autonomous learning performance of students in higher education were analyzed. The results indicated that the COVID-19 confinement has a considerable favorable effect on students’ performance. This effect is also noticeable in activities that did not change their format after being confined. Moreover, an examination of students’ learning strategies before confinement shows that students did not study on a regular basis. Based on these findings, they concluded that COVID-19 confinement shifted students’ learning strategies to a more constant habit, resulting in increased efficiency.

The main recommendations from Ukraine are online education methods training courses for lecturers, organize in-depth online education methods training courses for lecturers of non-pedagogical specialties (including training in interactive online teaching methods, formation of an individual learning trajectory, and development of online multidisciplinary courses); university administration should give continuous monitoring of student and lecturer satisfaction in the online education organization in order to collect statistical data in the dynamics.

UN recommendations to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on education include protect education financing and coordinate for impact, build resilient education systems for equitable and sustainable development and, reimagine education and accelerate change in teaching and learning.
Finally, despite the difficulties in providing education in the pandemic, educational systems around the world are adapting to it and have put virtual education on the agenda extensively. It is even predicted that an important part of education in the post-COVID-19 is to be provided through virtual education.

The international conference “Social Work Education and Interventions at the time of COVID-19 Pandemic”, to be held on 11 and 12 September, will address the issue of social work training and the challenges and opportunities during the pandemic. The speakers in the relevant panels will report on this issue from different perspectives and the experiences of educators in different countries will be shared.

References:
The effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the Turkish society, Bostan et. Al, Electronic Journal of General Medicine, 2020
The Psychological and Social Impact of Covid-19: New Perspectives of Well-Being, V. Saladino et al., Front. Psychol, 2020
Influence of COVID-19 confinement on students’ performance in higher education, T. Gonzalez et al., Plos one, 2020
The Impact of COVID-19 on Education in Ghana, J. Ndoye Upoalkpajor & C. Bawa Upoalkpajor, Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, 2020
The Relationship between Anxiety Levels and Perceived Social Support during the Pandemic of COVID-19 in Turkey, E. Özmete & M. Pak, Social Work in Public Health, 2020
A Comparative Study of the Challenges and Opportunities of Higher Education in the Corona Pandemic in Iran and around the World, Taghizadeh S et al., Journal of Nurse and Physician within War/Summer, 2020
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on information management research and practice: Transforming education, work and life, Y. Dwivedi et al., International Journal of Information Management, 2020
COVID-19 Outbreak and New Normal Teaching in Higher Education: Empirical Resolve from Islamic Universities in Indonesia, Ani Cahyadi, DINAMIKA ILMU, 2020

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