Understanding the Most Important Facilitators and Barriers for Online Education during COVID-19 through Online Photovoice Methodology

İbrahim Doyumğaç, Ahmet Tanhan, Mustafa Said Kiymaz


There are three main research goals in this study including (a) understanding the most important facilitators (support, strength) and complicators (barrier, concern, issues, problems) for online or distance education during COVID-19 from the unique perspective of college students, academicians, and teachers through Online Photovoice (OPV); (b) advocating with the volunteer participants and partners as allies to share the results with the key people and institutions through online avenues to enhance facilitators and address complicators; and finally, (c) investigating participants’ attribution of facilitators and complicators based on Ecological Systems Theory (EST) levels. The researchers utilized the adapted Turkish version of OPV to collect and used Online Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (OIPA) to analyze the data. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) grounded in EST constructed the theoretical framework for the research. In total, 115 participants completed and consented for the study. Sixteen main facilitator-related themes emerged, and the five most expressed were having technology (n = 31, 35%), internet (n = 28, 32%), communication (n =18, 20%), emotions (n = 17, 19%), and economic resources (n = 16, %18). Thirteen main complicators-related themes emerged, and the five most reported barriers were lacks of technological resources (n = 41, 47%), internet (n = 40, 46%), appropriate learning environments, learning opportunities (n = 32, 36%) appropriate resources for online or distance education (n = 18, 20%), and interaction (n = 14, 16%). Participants attributed the facilitator and complicators to EST levels respectively as follows: individual/intrapsychic factors (84%; 69%), microsystem (45%; 59%), exosystem (36%; 43%), and macrosystem (34%; 44%). The researchers provided practical recommendations. The researchers obtained an institutional review board approval for this study.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v10n1p166


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International Journal of Higher Education
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