EDDD8103 Impact of COVID on eLearning.docx - Impact of...

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Impact of COVID-19 on eLearning in Higher EducationA White Paper for Geopolitical State of Affairs and eLearningeLearning EDDD8103Dr. Loren Naffziger
Impact of COVID-19 on eLearning in Higher EducationIn 2020 the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 reshaped how education was delivered to students (El Said, 2021). In March 2020, educational institutions in the United States were closed, and instruction quickly transitioned to a temporary online format (Purcell & Lumbreras, 2021). Approximately 1.2 billion children in 186 countries were affected by school closures due to COVID-19 (Li & Lalani, 2020). eLearning, a learning system produced through electronic media, became the most widely used teaching and learning platform to convey education to students (Soni, 2020). This white paper discusses the geopolitical event of COVID-19 and the socio-economic inequities of eLearning in higher education, a strategy for social change for marginalizedstudents, and a digital citizenship strategy for a diverse population of students. BackgroundThe coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, was first diagnosed in late 2019 in Wuhan, China (Olasile & Soykan, 2020). With the airborne transmission of the disease, COVID-19 quickly became a global pandemic that caused educational institutions to close their doors and stop traditional, face-to-face classroom learning (El Said, 2021) as a means of restraining the rapid spread of the disease (Olasile & Soykan, 2020). Education had to quickly maneuver to online teaching and learning platforms, resulting in the most significant transformation of learning and teaching in the history of education (El Said, 2021). According to Li and Lalani (2020), the suddenshift from traditional education to online learning impacted approximately 1.2 billion students globally. Socio-Economic DisparitiesCOVID-19 pandemic revealed many socio-economic disparities in higher education, such as a lackof learning resources, technology, and access to the Internet (Purcell & Lumbreras, 2021). Studentsfrom low-income families and students of color were already disproportionally affected by
technology and Internet access inequities. However, the pandemic exacerbated existing equity gapsin higher education (Levander & Decherney, 2020). Difficulties and high-stress levels became common for students from low-income families and students of color. As the pandemic exposed, many students relied on smartphones, outdated laptops, and tablets to do their course work (Indiana University, 2018). Students that could not afford to repair or replace the device or maintain reliable Internet access had difficulty completing courses (Indiana University, 2018).Traditional brick and mortar schools provided a safe environment for students, quiet places to study, and collegiate interactions with peers. Insecurities with food, housing, finances, isolation, and health service compounded existing stress levels for students while also trying to complete their education requirements (Purcell & Lumbreras, 2021). These insecurities, combined with inequities in technology and Internet access, made the transition to eLearning not equitable for

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