Students share difficulties and suggestions about online learning transition in ASEAN-QA Online Forum

By Banjong Ujjin, Senior Programme Officer
8 September 2020

On 27 August 2020, the ASEAN-QA Online Forum Series 2 was held with the theme “Going Digital: Learning from Learners”. Students were invited to speak their minds on their experience with the shocking transition to online learning as a result of COVID-19 to give Quality Assurance practitioners a better idea of the student perspective on the current state of higher education.

The ASEAN-QA Forum is a forum for QA Practitioners organized by the ASEAN-QA Association. The Forum’s objectives are to provide an arena to discuss quality assurance with key stakeholders which include students, ministries, agencies, lecturers, and more. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this forum is held online instead of the traditional on-site format. The ASEAN-QA Online Forum Series 2 is part of an ongoing series of forums with the first held in July 2020 and this one in August 2020.

Five students were invited to contribute to the discussion of student participation in higher education quality assurance. These students were:

  • Nicolette Kezia from Atma Jaya Catholic University, Indonesia
  • Santi Silairatama from Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Moeng Champey from Phnom Penh International University, Cambodia
  • Mariana Noleto Wanderley from the University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Nur Farah Sazama Rashidi from Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia

Some highlights of what students had to say include that many students are experiencing issues with internet access which in turn leads to them being unable to attend classes in an adequate manner. Another issue common to many students is the duration of classes. Many suggested adjustments to both class length and workload to allow for students to truly retain concentration during class. Communication between the lecturer and students was also a point of discussion with many students suggesting that lecturers should attend some sort of orientation that will help them with adjusting to the new online teaching environment.

The forum yielded many points of consideration for the QA Practitioners and lecturers alike to adjust the method of instruction for higher education in the digital era.