In Slovenia, the distance education was introduced as a response to the epidemic Covid-19 in March 2020. School and company responses were the subject of two evaluations prepared by the National Education Institute (NEI) and the Institute of the RS for VET (CPI).
Analysis of distance education in the Covid-19 epidemic
In July 2020, the NEI presented interim research results on Distance education during epidemic, whose goal was to determine how teachers, students and headmasters faced and experienced distance education. The NEI analysed the approaches used by teachers, use of ICT, realisation of learning aims, didactic strategies, teaching methods, etc. Primary and upper secondary school teachers (7 414), students (24 684) and headmasters (422) participated in the research.
The results show that students found distance learning more demanding than classroom learning, but also more interesting and creative. They liked being able to schedule work during the day and not performing in front of their classmates. Over 30% of students estimated that it was easier to learn this way. The negative aspects were lack of social contact with classmates and teachers and lack of teacher’s explanation. Some students reported difficulties using a computer, and about 20% had to share a computer with family members.
Teachers viewed distance teaching as demanding and stressful, but they managed to achieve the set goals. Some 60% of teachers thought that with distance teaching the quality had declined a little, while 10% found that it had declined a lot. The prevalent approach was a combination of video conferences and guided learning through written instructions. The teachers rarely encouraged teamwork or work in pairs – an area with room for improvement. The assessment was mainly done through video conferences, while upper secondary students had to answer complex questions, prepare a research report, etc. The data are used as the basis for planning support for schools, but also for future developments in education.
Evaluation of the realisation of work-based learning in the school year 2019/20 including the period of distance education
The CPI prepared an Evaluation of the implementation of work-based learning (WBL) in the period of distance education. The participating 548 class teachers from all types of VET schools reported the following:
- 70% reported that work-based learning (WBL) in the school year 2019/20 was either fully or mostly realised; 15.4% reported WBL as not realised and transferred to holidays or the next year, or recognised as completed;
- obstacles in implementing WBL included employer unavailability due to the epidemic, and low motivation of students;
- solutions found: WBL as distance education, WBL implemented in school workshops, postponing WBL to June or to holidays;
- additional teacher training is required in the fields of monitoring student progress and assessment, exchange of good practices, use of ICT, and distance training;
- some teachers expressed concern about how to educate and train students for the profession properly, if the implementation of WBL was impaired or not implemented in the next school year.
Read more (in Slovenian)
Distance education during epidemic