Research Article

Exploring perspectives: Undergraduate experiences and challenges in online education–A qualitative study in the Greek higher education context

Maria Stamatoglou 1 *
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1 Department of Early Childhood Care and Education, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, GREECE* Corresponding Author
Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 4(2), 2024, ep2413, https://doi.org/10.30935/jdet/14483
Published Online: 18 April 2024, Published: 01 July 2024
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this qualitative study is to provide an understanding about the experiences and challenges of Greek undergraduate early childhood care and education students that continue their studies online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous studies were carried out worldwide, since March 2020, trying to explore students’ experiences of online education. These studies mainly focused on the issues that arose while studying online education during the pandemic. However, qualitative research on the topic is limited. In this study, a phenomenological perspective will be considered to address the experiences and challenges of early childhood education and care undergraduate university students in online education during the pandemic. The purpose is to inform university lecturers about their future online practices. Overall, 64 undergraduate (62 female and 2 male) students participated in an online open-ended questionnaire and were analyzed with the use of interpretive phenomenological analysis. It was revealed that students were anxious studying in a digital learning environment with the main themes that emerged being isolation, lack of motivation and lack of interpersonal communication. However, students expressed their optimism about the successful outcome of the online experience as they showed skills of flexibility and adaptation with regards to the situation. Although Greece does not have a long tradition of online education practices and these students were not enrolled to the course having a distance learning mode in mind, the findings of the study provide evidence that they encountered an overall positive online learning experience.

CITATION (APA)

Stamatoglou, M. (2024). Exploring perspectives: Undergraduate experiences and challenges in online education–A qualitative study in the Greek higher education context. Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 4(2), ep2413. https://doi.org/10.30935/jdet/14483

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