Life Quality and Distance Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Perspective of University Students: A Case of the Republic of Croatia

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Nevenka Maras, Borna Nemet


Modern technologies and digital media have a special influence in the field of education, enabling institutions, teachers and students plethora of virtual opportunities for continuous communication, access to teaching materials and facilitation of understanding and fulfilling of teaching process and educational outcomes. After the coronavirus outbreak technology found its way to suppress many obstacles students and professors were challenged with by implementing a total distance education strategy. Nevertheless, students´ life quality and the effectuation of distance learning is rather questionable. The main research interest focuses on higher education distance learning implementation and status of studies as well as satisfaction level of student population considering distance learning and the perception quality of their living conditions at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. In the sample, which included student population of all years and study programs among universities in the Republic of Croatia (N=583), the data was collected by means of a questionnaire designed by researchers of this paper and parts of standardized research questionnaire by Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985) which was divided into two parts; the level of implementation on distance learning strategies, and satisfactory levels of students´ quality of living conditions. The results showed that the current level of distance learning implementation is not at a satisfactory level at the national stratum. Yet, many of participants point out distance education was not a common resource known and used by students prior to coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, a nonparametric one-sample Wilcoxon Signed rank test data analysis accepted the H₀ confirming that satisfactory volume of the quality of living conditions during the coronavirus pandemic is not at the gratifying level according to evaluation of student population. It can also be noted that there is a positive correlation between distance learning and students´ satisfactory level of life quality in the time of coronavirus pandemic. As a result of these findings, it can be recommended that although alternatives for continuous higher education in the Republic of Croatia were implemented in time, there should be put a special attention on its quality and students ‘satisfaction levels as well as the overall impact on their life quality. There are numerous regulations and recommendations, rules and protocols, all emerging due to coronavirus outbreak, but its effects on higher education sector are yet to be investigated.

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