Prof. Dr. Roumiana Peytcheva-Forsyth
Dr. Lyubka Aleksieva, Assoc. Prof.
University of Sofia
Absract. The shift to “emergency remote teaching” forced by the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a huge challenge to most of the teachers and students in higher education institutions worldwide. Our research focus in previous publications was aimed at establishing the impact of e-learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic of separately teachers and students at Sofia University (Bulgaria) on
their evaluations of e-learning strengths and weaknesses, as well as their attitudes
towards this e-learning in general. As a follow up, in the present paper an attempt is
made to compare the perspectives of the two groups towards e-learning, influenced by their experience. The survey of teachers and students’ opinions was conducted through online surveys at the end of the summer semester of the 2019/2020 academic year, when, due to the pandemic, approximately 4 months of the learning process was provided entirely online. Participants in the study were 383 teachers and 1239 students from all 16 faculties of the Sofia University. Findings from the data analysis revealed the presence of statistically significant dependencies between
teachers and students’ experiences in online learning and their views of theoretically
and practically proven advantages and disadvantages of e-learning. The results in
the two groups appeared to be almost similar, which gave us reason to claim that
richer experience in e-learning is a significant prerequisite for the formation of positive attitudes towards e-learning in both students and teachers, and vice versa, lack of experience or insignificant experience negatively affects their evaluations of e-learning.
Keywords: online education; advantages and disadvantages of e-learning; e-learning