In a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, education swiftly pivoted from traditional classrooms to digital platforms. Researchers at Vilnius University conducted a comprehensive study, shedding light on the online education experiences of both students and teachers.

Ambivalent feelings: Mobile ethnography revealed a prevailing positive outlook among students and teachers regarding online education. Students expressed gratitude for class content, while teachers candidly shared their emotional well-being, reflecting resilience amidst adversity.

Nonetheless, teachers highlighted technical challenges during online classes more than students did. This digital hurdle was felt more acutely than in face-to-face settings, creating pressure on educators. Students, though acknowledging the challenges, did not emphasize them to the same extent. Teachers struggled to offer both quality content and interactive engagement within online classes. This sometimes resulted in forgoing interactive activities. However, students placed high value on interaction, appreciating its role in enhancing online learning.

Online learning empowered teachers to conduct classes from anywhere globally. While this flexibility posed challenges for teachers adjusting to new work environments, students found it inspiring, broadening their perspectives.

Yearning for Interaction, Sense of Irrelevance: Students’ sense of irrelevance was linked to the absence of interaction in online learning. This echoed teachers’ challenges in balancing content and interactivity. Both groups expressed a shared longing for meaningful virtual interactions.

The study cautioned against rigid guidelines for online education, emphasizing the need for adaptable solutions. It highlighted the diversity of challenges faced by teachers and students and the importance of catering to varied needs.

Focus group participants highlighted the complexity of hybrid teaching, which blends online and face-to-face components. This demanded heightened preparation and engagement, resulting in increased workloads for teachers. Challenges emerged for both educators and students in this hybrid mode.

Conclusion and Recommendations: The study unveiled online education’s transformative impact, revealing challenges while unearthing opportunities. It stressed ongoing adaptation and improvement in teaching methods, advocating for sustained engagement and interactivity in virtual classrooms.

As education continues evolving, these insights offer invaluable guidance for educators and institutions navigating the intricate landscape of remote and hybrid teaching, fostering effective and engaging learning experiences.

Relevant Links: