Student Experiences and Perceptions of Emergency Remote Education during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Azzah Al-Maskari The University of Technology and Applied Sciences-, Ibra, Oman
  • thuraya Al Riyami The University of Technology and Applied Sciences-, Ibra, Oman
  • Siraj kunjumuhammed Modern College of Business and Science, Muscat, Oman
Keywords: online higher education, Emergency Remote Education, COVID-19


This study reports students' perceptions of Emergency Remote Education (ERE) during Spring 2020 in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Sultanate of Oman. Online classes replaced face-to-face teaching in the middle of March 2020. Eleven thousand one hundred eighty-one students from different HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman participated in a national online questionnaire in July 2020. Students reported the availability of adequate infrastructure as a significant issue during ERE. Fewer than half (46%) participants owned laptops, while others shared laptops with other family members. Most students utilized mobile data; less than a quarter used Wi-Fi at home. Recorded PowerPoint lectures and live lectures were the most common teaching approaches. Students reported that faculties' use of YouTube videos and recording practical aspects in a laboratory/workshop setting deliver practical parts of the course. In this research, Humanities students have reported a positive experience with ERE; however, Engineering students were least satisfied with ERE. Moreover, students rated their perception of ERE as moderate in different areas (e.g., suitability of the online assessment, interactions between faculty and students, skills and knowledge gained, and quality of education). We recommend that government and HEI implement strategies, such as providing laptops and expanding Wi-Fi coverage, to address the challenges listed in the research. As online teaching is expected to continue, such measures are required to implement online classes effectively.


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