Distance learning in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: advantages and disadvantages

Distance learning in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Gülyüz Debeş mrs



The study, which utilized survey method, aimed to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning during COVID-19 pandemic over the conventional learning from the point of view of the university administrators and lecturers. The data were collected using quantitative method via an in-depth interview form administered to randomly selected 14 administrators and 13 lecturers in different universities in North Cyprus.  The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and variance analysis. The results showed that except for one participant, majority of the participants stated that they had experienced educational challenges during Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the participants encountered some problems such as the assessment and evaluation challenges (%9.7), technical challenges (%41.9), learners’ participation challenges (%19.4), and effectiveness of teaching challenges (%29.0).

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning; conventional learning; lecturers, administrators

© 2016 IJCI & the Authors. Published by International Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (IJCI). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY-NC-ND) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


  1. Introduction

The Concept of distance learning first appeared in 1840 then within a few years the distance education programs become available in the UK, Germany, USA and Japan. The intense increasing relevance of distance learning brought the possibilities of access non-location bounded and time independent instructions through the use of synchronous and asynchronous means (Williams and Shea, 2003). With the growth interest of distance learning, technology served instructions to learners without an educator’s presence. Since, it promotes flexibility at any time regardless of context and availability to learners and educators at any time regardless of the time of content, distance learning led to many higher educational institutions to implement courses on the Internet that has