Accessing Online Instruction amidst COVID-19 in Bangladesh: Barriers and Coping Strategies
With the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of the education systems worldwide, private universities in Bangladesh transitioned to online classes to ensure continuity of education. Therefore, it was important to investigate the private university teachers’ and students’ perceptions regarding various dimensions of accessing online instruction and coping strategies used by teachers. A mixed-methods approach was used to collect data from 208 teachers and 674 students through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The findings indicate that teachers and students encountered several barriers, including unstable internet connection, costly internet packages, minimal support for teachers, issues with online assessment, and an unsuitable home environment. To combat existing problems related to assessment and to increase interaction in the classroom, teachers used a small range of coping strategies. Measures are suggested to ensure access to stable internet connectivity, financial support to students and teacher training on online pedagogy and assessment.