CHALLENGES IN ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HEARING-IMPAIRED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND THEIR LECTURERS


Creative Commons License

ÜNLÜER S.

PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY, no.2, pp.294-312, 2024 (ESCI) identifier

Abstract

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant challenges in Turkey, as in many other countries, in the transition from face-to-face to online education at all levels of education. This shift has brought forth numerous obstacles, particularly for d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/Dhh) university students. Hence, this research aims to identify the challenges encountered during online learning amidst the pandemic at the School for the Handicapped (SfH), the only institution in Turkey providing vocational higher education to hearing-impaired students. Conducted as a qualitative case study at the SfH, the research involved 20 hearing-impaired students and 19 faculty members as participants. Data obtained from the Mergen Anadolu Learning Management System platform, WhatsApp Platform and other platforms, was used for online education. Interviews, open-ended questionnaires, and the researcher's journal were compiled and analyzed inductively. Findings from the study highlighted a multitude of challenges encountered in the online learning process, affecting both faculty members and students at the SfH. The challenges encountered by participants in online learning at the SfH were found to be related to difficulty in understanding lessons, lack of subtitles and sign language translation, difficulty accessing computers and software, Internet problems, low camera usage, low motivation, and lack of interaction.