ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCES OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN THE POST-PANDEMIC PERSPECTIVE
Keywords:students’ experiences, online learning, emergency remote education, engineering students, COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis that has critically affected higher education institutions. With the sudden shift to emergency remote education during the pandemic, students’ online experiences have become a growing concern among teachers. This study aims to gain insights into students’ experiences of online activities in a hybrid learning approach. A total of 80 students enrolled in undergraduate programs at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, responded to an open-ended online questionnaire. This study used the content analysis to find out the positive and negative experiences in online learning, the preference for continuing instruction in a certain format and the reason for choice. The results showed that students' resources and skills played an important role in terms of positive or negative study experiences: cost and time effectiveness, easy access to many study materials and good distance learning skills helped to cope with this pandemic, while little or no interaction with colleagues and teachers and too many hours on screen caused difficulties and dissatisfaction among other students. Despite these issues, most students are interested in continuing their online instruction, but also face-to-face or hybrid activities. This study can provide recommendations derived from the interpretation of participant feedback for improvements in future online learning experiences.