Shift Back to In-Person Classes Presents New Challenges

Dolzhich, Elena, Dmitrichenkova, Svetlana and Dolzhich, Polina (2023) Shift Back to In-Person Classes Presents New Challenges. INTED2023 Proceedings, 1 . pp. 1161-1165. ISSN 2340-1079

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COVID-19 has extremely impacted the educational system throughout the world leading to the near-total shut down of educational institutions replacing face-to-face classes with online learning. Return to in-person classes presents new problems for some students who are facing challenges due to their long isolation, emotional state, and possible poor academic performance caused by remote learning.

The article deals with university students' adaptation to in-person learning after a long lockdown associated with alternating remote, hybrid and face-to-face formats. The paper analyses the experience acquired over the past two years at the Department of foreign languages of the Engineering Academy, RUDN University.

The research used a quantitative approach with survey methods of collecting data from responses given by 120 students through questionnaires. Unexpectedly, despite the problems connected with online learning, a sizeable group of students showed uncertainty to turn back to in-person classes due to different reasons considered in this study. Most students share the opinion that as they transit back to in-person classroom, there is a positive effect of teachers’ support and empathy on students’ learning environment and on coping with challenges.

This paper focused on the necessity to evaluate positive and negative effects faced by the university community during distance learning and to take them into account whilst managing digitalization in education. The authors offer a set of major steps needed to ensure students' successful learning and emotional well-being when coming back to in-person classes.

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