Online learning and teaching during COVID-19: A case study from Oman

Zouhaier Slimi


This paper sheds light on the experience of online learning and teaching in Oman in higher institutions under confinement circumstances. The paper targets three primary objectives. First, it seeks to study the challenges of learning and teaching online in Oman.  Second, to identify the opportunities offered by learning and teaching online and thirdto recommend solutions for better learning and teaching processes. The paper uses applied and qualitative methods. The applied method lies in the use of an experiment of 8 weeks of online teaching at the International Maritime College Oman. The qualitative approach lies in the use of students' online interviews, academic staff's online meetings' feedback, and a qualitative survey for both academic staff and students. The survey targeted around 100 participants from the International Maritime College Oman, and Majan College and responses were around 64. Findings have revealed that although online learning and teaching is a novel experience in Oman, it is a challenging experience that has reinforced new styles of learning and teaching. A considerable majority enjoyed the experience as they have since developed independent learning skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills and technological communication and IT skills. However, the significant challenges faced were related to network issues as internet connection in Oman is generally weak. Finally, there was also the challenge of students' cooperation, autonomy and dependency, as well as compliance with educational policies and cultural issues. There were also challenges related to the technological infrastructure of the institutions mentioned above and the readiness of both academic staff and students to implement technology for online teaching and learning.

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