Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Greater Training And On-line Studying

What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are currently experiencing the global COVID-19 pandemic and education systems around the world are facing a gigantic crisis. Still, the pandemic leaves college students with no option other than online learning.


The first COVID-19 case was reported in December 2019, but the world was not prepared for the massive disruption it would cause. In 2020 the pandemic spread worldwide. The global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of many sectors, including higher education. As many nations began to close their borders and people were put in lockdown, the educational system around the world took on a new shape. Many nations have closed their institutions to fight the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is unprecedented; the world has never seen so many students from educational institutions at the same time. Colleges around the world have been closed for long periods of time and online learning has become a form of teaching for most educators.

The learning process at universities around the world has been suspended in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. In situations where students were not allowed to attend their colleges, learning methods switched from traditional classrooms to online learning. For example, China, the hardest hit country by COVID-19, has actively promoted online learning for students to study from home. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has made steady strides in online learning as teachers, parents and students have started to adapt to the new technology. In these troubled times, higher education is supported by large companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Zoom, which offer many of their feature products for free (Basilaia & Kvavadz, 2020). The number of Microsoft Teams users was only 750 on March 10, 2020, but increased to 138,698 on March 24, 2020, showing significant growth (OECD, 2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving further research into technologies, especially online learning, which makes it possible to move from just distributing content to improving teacher relationships, personalization and independence. Online learning is expected to transform the current education system worldwide as a paradigm shift that could reshape education long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends (The Globe Mail, 2020). In addition, UNESCO founded the Global Education Coalition as a collaboration between businesses, nonprofits and media companies to help more than 1.5 billion students worldwide learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Challenges in online learning

Educators are supporting online learning as an initiative to help students study from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The educators are trying their best to ensure that the learning process continues despite the pandemic. However, educators face challenges in successfully delivering their online courses.

One of the toughest challenges is the willingness of colleges to deal with online learning during the pandemic and college closings. Poorly managed online learning associated with disadvantaged students with missing equipment or internet access has reflected how higher education is responding to learners’ needs and their inability to engage in an online learning environment (Zhong, 2020).

Another challenge that arises from online learning is the quality of education during the pandemic. Universities’ decision to move to online learning raises questions about the quality of education due to limited or inadequate access to technology (Anderson, 2020). Previous research has shown that students from the underprivileged category have difficulty taking their online courses and achieving positive learning outcomes (Barshay, 2019).

Another challenge is related to the success of online learning delivery. Most colleges are turning to alternative forms of learning, while some have temporarily stopped designing and transitioning to online learning. Others have chosen to continue in-person learning with complementary online resources such as recorded lectures while continuing to follow necessary social distancing guidelines. In this sense, educators in higher education have difficulty getting students excited about online learning and getting their attention like in a normal face-to-face classroom. Furthermore, not every higher education has the necessary resources or academic skills to make the transition from traditional learning to online learning (Leung & Sharma, 2020).

Opportunity for improvement

Some studies indicated that prolonged college closings and domestic violence could have negative effects on the physical and mental health of children (Brazendale, et al., 2017). The “psychological effects of quarantine are far-reaching, significant, and can be long-lasting (Brooks, 2020).” The COVID-19 pandemic has taught a lesson that could pave the way for new solutions to the existing education system in the countries , Teachers, students and parents will be better prepared than they are today.

The pandemic gave teachers the opportunity to rearrange exams and homework, which is more in line with the open book principle. The open book principle is currently not popular with students in schools. Educators need to rethink to provide new assignments for subjects that require additional work. When grading assignments, teachers must consider fraud or plagiarism. The current situation is just keeping learning going in every possible format.

This is the best time to look into online learning methods that can be incorporated into current traditional learning. As pointed out by Zapalska (2006), in order to become a more flexible online learner, a student who learns best in a certain way must have a variety of learning experiences. According to Basilaia and Kvavadze (2020), the system and the skills that educators, students and administrators acquired during the pandemic can be used in the post-pandemic period in the event of lessons being canceled or similar special cases such as the current one. The teachers have “re-realized” the distance learning and adapted the tasks to the new teaching format, which has a positive effect on their qualifications (Basilaia & Kvavadze, 2020). Online learning can be very useful, especially in the post-pandemic phase, for teaching students with special needs. Hence, the post-pandemic is the time when education could include face-to-face, blended education, and online education (Zhu, 2020).


COVID-19 has given everyone a great lesson including how and where to hold college classes. The educational disruptions caused by this pandemic can open eyes to the education system and to teachers who view online learning as another teaching tool rather than a burden. In addition, teachers can rethink changed teaching methods in order to prepare students for the future and to face the current Industrial Revolution 4.0. Therefore, more research is needed to get a broader view of how the COVID-19 pandemic will transform the learning process in higher education around the world.


  • Anderson, G., 2020. “Students Say Online Courses Are Not What They Paid For.”
  • Alturise, F., 2020. “Evaluation of the Blackboard Learn Learning Management System for Full Online Courses in Western Branch Colleges of Qassim University”. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 15 (15), 33-50.
  • Barshay, J., 2019. “Weakest students are more likely to take online college courses but do worse”
  • Basilaia, G., and Kvavadze, D., 2020. “Transition to Online Education in Schools During a SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in Georgia.” Educational Research, 5 (4)
  • Brazendale, K., et al., 2017, “Understanding Differences Between Childhood Obesity in Summer and School: The Structured Days Hypothesis,” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Dec.
  • Brooks, SK, Webster, RK, Smith, LE, Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, GJ, 2020. “The Psychological Effects of Quarantine and How to Reduce It: Quick Review of the Proof “. The Lancet.
  • Leung, M., & Sharma, Y. (2020). Online courses attempt to fill educational gaps during the epidemic.
  • Mahyoob, M., 2020. “Challenges of e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic of EFL learners”. Arab World English Journal, 11 (4) 351-362.
  • OECD., 2020. “A Framework to Guide an Education Response to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic”.
  • Zhong, R., 2020. “The coronavirus exposes the digital divide in education”.
  • Zhu, X., 2020. “Building a National Online Teacher Education System”. Research in Educational Development, 40 (2), 3.

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