Higher education in the crisis period: A comparative analysis of the Ukrainian experience of online or blended TEFL during the pandemic and the war
Yuliia Baklazhenko – Zoia Kornieva
The article is dedicated to the problem of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in higher education during the crisis period by an example of a Ukrainian experience of teaching during the pandemic and the war. In the beginning, the research focused only on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the TEFL at tertiary schools in Ukraine. However, after the outbreak of the war on the territory of Ukraine on 24th February 2022, it became clear that the experience could be extrapolated to the conditions of other crises, in particular, to the conditions of armed aggression. This article uses mixed quantitative and qualitative comparative methods to analyze the survey results of educators' attitudes toward online and blended learning. The blind questionnaire was held in May 2021 and then repeated in February 2023. The participants (n=70, n = 69) were representatives of about 50 higher education institutions (HEI) from all over Ukraine. The research is a case study with context-dependent knowledge; however, it may be with some reservations relevant to other countries under similar conditions. The instrument included 10 questions related to the participant's previous experience of online teaching, reflections on the most difficult elements of online teaching, advantages and disadvantages of online teaching, and types of learning activities that can easily be adapted and transferred into online mode of learning. The questionnaire also covers the role of a teacher in online learning, the overall assessment of the experience of online learning and preferences of the mode of teaching which the teachers would like to preserve. The structure of the questionnaire included 4 multiple-choice single-answer questions and 6 multiple-choice multiple-answer questions. Answers from the two polls of respondents were then compared using Fisher's correlation coefficient to prove the statistical significance of the received data. The results of the questionnaire have shown that the majority of participants (61 %; 42%) think that implementation of blended learning is the best option to use in the universities, thus presenting a need to the higher education system of Ukraine to develop and introduce blended learning curricula.
Key words: TEFL, education in emergency, education in crisis, blended learning and teaching, online learning and teaching