Students’ Attitude to Online Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) at Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy and Faculty of Maritime Studies Split during COVID-19 Crisis
Keywords:COVID-19 crisis, Maritime education and training, Navigation courses, Emergency remote teaching, ERT, Quality of education, Student's attitude
COVID-19 pandemic has set new challenges to education systems in the Republic of Bulgaria and in the Republic of Croatia, particularly to higher education systems. In summer semester 2020/2021, emergency remote teaching (ERT) was imposed at Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (NVNA) and at University of Split, Faculty of Maritime Studies (UoS FMS) under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. As researches related to the students’ satisfaction with learning in digital environment at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis are very rare in Bulgaria and in Croatia, the aim of the paper is to analyse students’ attitude to the quality of three-month ERT in specialized compulsory navigation courses at NVNA and at UoS FMS. Anonymous survey on students’ attitude was conducted on 154 students majoring in Navigation at NVNA and 98 students majoring in Nautical Studies at UoS FMS. The study revealed that students were generally satisfied with the quality of ERT at NVNA and at UoS FMS. The students’ primary concerns regarding ERT (online/hybrid) in navigation courses included the quality of ERT, difficulties with technology, motivation, as well as time management. This useful information can help both lecturers and faculty managements to adapt their teaching strategies and provide adequate support to the students. MET institutions should support students to build skills and behaviours based on students’ concerns, but also to train and support lecturers to develop and deliver high-quality hybrid courses. Although the study has limited value, it could be used as a reference point for further studies and should encourage MET institutions, as well as maritime administrations, to give strong support to the implementation of hybrid courses in MET. This study could also inspire maritime administrations to conduct pilot projects on hybrid courses introduction in MET, in line with global trends in education and stakeholders’ growing demand for distance learning, without compromising quality of MET.
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