Distance education practices at universities in Turkey: a case study during covid-19 pandemic

Distance education practices


  • Nilgün Tosun


After the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, universities in Turkey, like many other countries, began compulsory distance education in March. Most of the courses are conducted by distance education. Millions of students and academics have been involved in distance education through technologies enabled by the existing infrastructure of their own universities. The difference in distance education infrastructure and readiness among universities has been seen more clearly in applications. The variety of course materials shared with students, synchronous and asynchronous processing of courses, teaching practice and internships, examinations, varied from university to university. In addition, in this process, universities have tried to continue education without disruption and have had to tackle some problems. Technological, pedagogical, psychological, administrative, ethical and security issues concerning students, academics and other employees have been faced. Some problems have remained on the agenda for a longer time, especially for universities that do not have a distance education background and do not have the opportunity to complete distance education. While some of these problems were resolved by the decisions of the Higher Education Council (YÖK), some were tried to be solved by the internal dynamics of the universities or by inter-university solidarity. In this study; YÖK resolutions announced between March - June, guiding the distance education practices of the universities in Turkey and university educations conducted in line with these resolutions were discussed. In this research, which is a case study, the official websites of the relevant institutions and field literature were used to collect data. Descriptive analysis was made by dividing the obtained data into themes and sub-themes. In addition, taking into account the data obtained, recommendations were made by the researcher on the distance education operations of universities.