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Experiences in online environment - comparative analysis of teaching adult learners
With the deterioration of epidemic situation in the fall of 2020, another lockdown became a matter of certainty. Following the directives of the Croatian Ministry of Health for tertiary education institutions and private language schools, almost the entire academic year 2020/2021 was conducted online, after only three weeks of live classes.
The teaching staff was forced to switch to virtual classrooms mainly of their own choice, since most institutions of tertiary education only issued recommendations for teaching channels. Private foreign language schools had even more authority in organizing their work.
This paper presents a comparative analysis of advantages and challenges of online education in a case study of teachers’ and students’ experiences of teaching and learning general English and ESP in online classes via communication platforms in real time, and the use of e-mail and chat correspondence as an auxiliary tool.
The aim is to compare live and online classes in real time in terms of their effectiveness, establishing clear communication and building the teacher-student relationship. Furthermore, the authors will compare the difference in students’ attitude to online learning and their behavior in virtual classrooms with regard to their age and participation depending on the compulsory/elective status of the course. The last comparison in this analysis will address one of the most challenging aspects of online education for teachers: students’ evaluation and the question of ethical behavior in taking exams.
The qualitative method was employed, where a sample of the authors' students (20 students per each group) were interviewed on their experience and opinion of online classes. The answers are presented separately for students of tertiary education institution and the private language school.
The conclusion of this paper aims to outline the general advantages and disadvantages of online classes for adult learners based on the surveyed groups.
Potrebno predznanje: No prior knowledge necessary