Impacts of online learning in development studies during the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, development studies, online learning, students, Thailand
Due to Thailand’s geographical advantage as a gateway to Southeast Asia and with developmental issues of its own, a development studies program inthe country has attracted numerous international students to explore local communities. However, disruption occurred following the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions, lockdown, and work and study from home measures. Most universities have swiftly blended or changed to online learning including a program of development studies in Thailand. The paper, thus, aimed to analyze the impacts of online learning for the development studies program at the present time as exacerbated by the disruption. The research design used a case study with a qualitative approach. The participants were international postgraduate students and current alumni, mainly from Asia, of a development studies program in Thailand. Research techniques included interview, focus group interview, and secondary data analysis. Findings showed that students did not prefer online learning and viewed it as ineffective, but resigned themselves to accepting it during the pandemic. Impacts of online learning in development studies were its incompatibility with objectives of development studies, a reduction in ontology in class and fieldwork, fewer chances to build social networks, and the emergence of inequality in terms of socioeconomic factors.
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/