The Slovenia Times

Distance learning more challenging, say pupils and teachers


The study on the functioning of the educational system during the coronavirus epidemic involved some 10% of all the students, a third of Slovenian teachers and two thirds of head teachers.

The teachers deemed remote learning challenging and stressful. As many as 70% believe that remote work produced worse results than in-classroom teaching.

Nevertheless, most teachers realised two thirds or more of the educational targets, responded 75%-80% of the participating teachers, quite a high share since independent work takes more time, Tanja Rupnik Vec, the head of the Centre for Quality and Research, said at today's press conference.

Teachers very rarely encouraged working in pairs or groups, which could be improved, she said, adding that they also did not believe that distance learning could be a way to achieve socio-emotional interaction. Foreign practices have shown that this is possible, she said.

Another challenge was recording and sharing online lectures, with some 20% of teachers saying that they were not yet able to do that.

Grading was conducted mostly via videoconference. Particularly in primary schools, teachers were grading more practical assignments, whereas in secondary schools answers to complex questions and research reports were in the focus. The survey shows that teachers used various grading methods.

Meanwhile, head teachers urged discussion on how to motivate older teachers to improve their digital skills. The main challenges teachers faced during the epidemic were grading and motivating pupils, said head teachers.

Students labelled remote learning as interesting and creative, with half of them finding it more challenging, said Branko Slivar, the head of the secondary school education department.

Asked about the downsides, pupils mostly listed lack of social interaction, both with classmates and teachers, as well as missing a teacher's explanation. Only few said they lacked computer skills required for remote learning. Some 20% had to share their computer with other family members.

On the other hand, pupils were glad that they could arrange the work throughout the day themselves and that they were not expected to perform in front of their classmates. Among secondary school students and those attending senior classes in primary school, more than 30% said that remote learning made it easier for them to learn.

The results of the study will be key for preparing the relevant strategy for next school year if the epidemiologic situation does not improve, said Education Minister Simona Kustec. The institute's director Vinko Logaj agreed, adding that the results pointed to the possibility of changes to the educational system.

The strategy will be mapped out at the end of August depending on the situation, according to Kustec, and it could be amended during the school year. Logar also highlighted that additional training on remote learning was available to teachers.


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