The COVID-19 Pandemic, University Students in Turkey, and Emergency Online Learning
In this study, we determined how university students in Turkey, a developing country, were able to transition into emergency online learning during COVID-19, what challenges they faced, and the positive experiences that may have come out of this process. We also explored how their positive and negative emotional states may have changed as a result of COVID-19. The sample included 125 students studying in different universities across Turkey who answered an online questionnaire. Results indicated that students’ positive emotions decreased and negative emotions increased significantly. Results also showed that the students experienced the following challenges during emergency online learning: not benefiting from online classes, lack of motivation in following online classes, problems related to family life and finances, increased levels of homework, and problems related to Internet access. In terms of positive experiences, students indicated spending more quality time with family, time for hobbies and personal development, examining life and personal existence, increase in the level of academic development due to homework assignments, and increase in grade-point-average. Students’ answers also revealed that their instructors may have been going through some difficulties as well. Students highlighted complaints related to their instructors’ lack of interest in teaching, not holding lectures, or not uploading class notes or slides, and their difficulty in getting in touch with their instructors. Implications are discussed.
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