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Research articles

Online Learning during the COVID–19 Outbreak: Undergraduates’ Perspective – A Case of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. U. Wagachchi,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About S. U.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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D. M. M. Sandeepani ,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About D. M. M.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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P. V. S. Harshana,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About P. V. S.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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G. C. Samaraweera

University of Ruhuna, LK
About G. C.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the mode of online learning has assumed an impactful role, especially in the field of higher education. The bulk of educational institutions have switched to online learning platforms for the continuation of academic programs. However, in the current literature on education, the perceptions of state university students on their engagements with this mode of learning have not yet been thoroughly examined. Therefore, this research was undertaken to investigate the perception of agricultural undergraduates towards online learning during the pandemic. The research examined the preferences of students for various characteristics of online classes, the perceptions of online learning and the benefits and disadvantages encountered by students engaged in online learning during the pandemic through an online survey of 334 students. Independent samples t-test revealed that there is a significant difference (t (332) = 2.120, p =0.035) in the choice of the duration of online classes between male (M=3.55, SD=0.948) and female students (M=3.81, SD=0.913). Interestingly, results of the two-way ANOVA revealed that there is a statistically significant interaction between the effects of gender and academic year on students’ interest in online learning, F (3, 326) = 3.788, p = .011. However, the majority of the students (41 %) faced connectivity/Network issues as their main problem during online learning. The homogeneity of the student group and the subject area limits the generalization of the findings to the vast majority. The study results can play a key role in developing future online classrooms with effective learning experiences.
How to Cite: Wagachchi, S.U., Sandeepani, D.M.M., Harshana, P.V.S. and Samaraweera, G.C., 2021. Online Learning during the COVID–19 Outbreak: Undergraduates’ Perspective – A Case of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. OUSL Journal, 16(2), pp.123–144. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ouslj.v16i2.7500
Published on 30 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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