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Students’ Perceptions About Online Learning
It is important that courses are developed and taught with planning. Instructors’ success begins with the development of a well-planned course. Students can learn effectively from a well-designed course, and it will be a joyful experience for both. There is fierce competition among educational institutions to recruit students. Offering online programs is one of the strategies to attract students. Educational institutions face the challenges of physical spaces, such as classrooms, labs, and parking lots. In addition, students do not have to be in closed space surrounded by others which is safer in the situation like COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a challenge to deliver instructions online effectively, engage students, motivate students, monitor students’ work, and maintain ethical standards. Some engineering education courses are hands-on in which operations of equipment are required. These types of courses are difficult to convert to an online format.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of online versus face-to-face courses. An empirical study was conducted to strategize the teaching methods for online learning depending on students’ perceptions. Data were collected from students of two universities using a questionnaire. A five-point Likert scale was used to collect data. It was found that online courses were not for everyone, and all courses were not best suited for the online format. Online courses were preferred over face-to-face in terms of flexibility and convenience, however, face-to-face courses provided a better learning experience. Effective strategies were recommended to teach online courses. The results of this study will enable instructors to rethink their teaching strategies in various course delivering methods. It is assumed that the gap between online and face-to-face learning in terms of effectiveness may shrink because of online technology advancements, such as simulation and training videos, video meetings, monitoring tools, and lock-down browsers.