The COVID-19 pandemic and the global response have impacted people’s daily lives and traditional social norms dramatically. Higher education will be greatly impacted in the short-term, with specific policy changes still being figured out, and long-term impacts not yet known. It is impossible to predict when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, or how long each country’s higher education systems will operate under new and unprecedented policy changes. Under these circumstances, institutions must investigate how to motivate both faculty and students, and preserve the quality of education. Globally, we are now witnessing the ongoing results of various forms of online education, and by focusing on these experiences, we can find ways to improve these new methods of education. This research is a case study analyzing student and faculty feedback on online education experiences within Japanese higher education. A qualitative analysis of interviews and questionnaires from 25 student and faculty sources is used to reveal how higher education students perceive online education and its pros and cons. This will include an examination of how online education is affecting student identity, personal challenges, and their ability and motivation for learning. Analysis of these points will be used to offer insight and guidance into how teaching methodologies and learning outcomes of online virtual education can be improved. Though focused on Japan, cultural factors will also be considered, with the hope that educators in other countries undergoing such educational shifts can draw from these learnings for comparative study.
Aki Yamada, Tamagawa University, Japan