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Special Issue "Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 39253

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Emilio Abad-Segura
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Business, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain
Interests: financial accounting; network science; data science; sustainable finance; data analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Mariana-Daniela González-Zamar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain
Interests: teaching and digital learning; learning & innovation spaces; creativity; higher education; art education; sustainability education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Esteban Vázquez-Cano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Didactics and School Organization, Faculty of Education, National Distance Education University (UNED), 28040, Spain
Interests: ICT in education; school organization and supervision; MOOCs; online and ubiquitous learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The coronavirus disease that started in 2019 (COVID-19) has meant a radical and unexpected alteration in certain habits and aspects of daily life globally. Among these, its appearance has caused important changes in both the health and education sectors, highlighting how government organizations have been able to adapt to the pandemic. The repercussions on educational capacities are assessed at the same time as the evolution of the disease. This new scenario requires adaptation measures and adjustments that reduce the economic, social, and technological gap in society. Likewise, COVID-19 has effects on the health economy, with consequences that are difficult to assess at present. It is interesting to understand the pandemic as an opportunity to study, in-depth, the functioning of the educational and economic systems in relation to the implications of the disease. This Special Issue on the “Effects of COVID-19: Issues in Health Economics and Education” aims to publish high-quality articles covering all fields of the implications of COVID-19 in health economics and education. Its scope includes the study of the socioeconomic and other variables inherent in these sectors that are affected by the disease. The articles will discuss scientific results from different perspectives, so that they make it possible to provide evidence on the study of the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

Prof. Esteban Vázquez-Cano
Dr. Eloy López Meneses
Dr. Mariana-Daniela González-Zamar
Dr. Emilio Abad-Segura
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • socioeconomic impacts
  • COVID-19 economic response plan
  • social vulnerability
  • educational challenges
  • health versus COVID-19 for educational centers
  • promotion of health and well-being
  • online education and emerging technologies

Published Papers (27 papers)

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Article
Social Media Use in E-Learning amid COVID 19 Pandemic: Indian Students’ Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095380 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 481
Abstract
As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, most educational institutions shifted to online education. Students and faculty members in many public institutions, particularly those in developing countries, are hampered by the absence of formal online learning management systems. Responding to COVID-19, many institutions [...] Read more.
As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, most educational institutions shifted to online education. Students and faculty members in many public institutions, particularly those in developing countries, are hampered by the absence of formal online learning management systems. Responding to COVID-19, many institutions in developing countries adopted social media sites to maintain e-learning and sustain education process. The distinction between online and real-world communities is becoming increasingly narrow, especially among the younger generations who have grown up with social media at their fingertips. This research explores perspectives of higher education students in India regarding the use of social media for e-learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, an online questionnaire was directed to a sample of higher education students in India via a personal network. The results showed that students were more satisfied with their use of social media because of their perceptions of its ease of use and usefulness. The majority of the students are active on social media for 1–2 h daily (p < 0.01). YouTube was the platform of choice among all the respondents (n = 154; 36%). The results confirmed that students feel that social media websites have a significant positive impact on their overall academic performance (p < 0.01). Novel methods of teaching and learning are constantly being sought out by educators. The present moment is an opportunity to examine and analyze the theoretical benefits of social media technologies and consider their relative advantages for education through the use of technology’s ability to enhance student learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Evaluation of E-Learning Experience among Health and Allied Health Professions Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Slovenia: An Instrument Development and Validation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4777; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084777 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 552
Abstract
COVID-19 had an impact on everyday life, especially during the lockdown. This also impacted higher education, leading to a sudden and complete shift to online e-learning. The purpose of this study was to develop, validate, and test a measurement tool suitable for evaluating [...] Read more.
COVID-19 had an impact on everyday life, especially during the lockdown. This also impacted higher education, leading to a sudden and complete shift to online e-learning. The purpose of this study was to develop, validate, and test a measurement tool suitable for evaluating students’ e-learning experience among health and allied health professions students. The convenience sample consisted of 342 students. A validation of the instrument E-learning Experience Evaluation Scale (3E-Scale) was conducted before the study began. Factor structure, reliability, content, and face validity were assessed. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed a four-factor structure of the scale that explained 61% of the total variance. The overall scale demonstrated a high level of reliability and appears to be a reliable measurement tool. The results show that there are statistically significant differences between female and male students (p < 0.05). In addition, nursing and dietetics students perceive more barriers related to the open-source learning management system than other students (p < 0.05). Positive learning experiences contribute to greater learning satisfaction and, consequently, greater learning engagement. E-learning content design should be aligned with teaching pedagogy and learning outcomes. Future studies should also address the negative consequences of e-learning experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Educational Communities: Evidence of Early Childhood Education Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084707 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
In the last two years, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and its consequences for the training of new teachers have been the subject of numerous studies. The pandemic has led to a change in schools and their functioning, as trainee [...] Read more.
In the last two years, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and its consequences for the training of new teachers have been the subject of numerous studies. The pandemic has led to a change in schools and their functioning, as trainee teachers have had to be introduced to a new environment for which university training proved to be insufficient. The pandemic poses shared challenges in which future teachers must be present. The objective of this study is to assess the perception of students enrolled in Early Childhood Education courses at the University of Extremadura (Spain) regarding the impact relationships between the subjects and agents of the educational communities. In order to achieve this goal, we present a qualitative study with a phenomenological design. The results of this research show perceptions in line with what the scientific literature shows: a profound change in the relationships between the different agents. Communication increased, but pedagogical issues were displaced by concerns about the health emergency. This study concludes with the need to broaden the knowledge of future teachers about the administrative functioning of and their relationship with the school, as well as about new resources to address new challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Teaching Presence, Self-Regulated Learning and Learning Satisfaction on Distance Learning for Students in a Nursing Education Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074160 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
The novel coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected how nursing students are educated. Distance learning has become the norm, and an evaluation of learning achievement is needed. This is a mixed-method study of teaching presence, self-regulated learning, and learning satisfaction in distance learning to [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected how nursing students are educated. Distance learning has become the norm, and an evaluation of learning achievement is needed. This is a mixed-method study of teaching presence, self-regulated learning, and learning satisfaction in distance learning to evaluate the learning achievement of students in a nursing education program. Ninety-four students for quantitative and seven students for qualitative research were sampled. All the sampled students attend the nursing education program in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province and were enrolled during the first semester of 2020. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS/WIN 21.0, and qualitative data were analyzed via content analysis in NVivo 12. Teaching presence and self-regulated learning were identified as the factors affecting learning satisfaction. In a focus group interview, teaching presence increased when the students received feedback and saw the faces of their professors. Self-regulated learning occurred when they had opportunities to practice self-study and leadership and when they formed relationships between professors and colleagues. These methods have also been recognized to increase learning satisfaction. Considering the results of this study, it is necessary to develop teaching methods that enhance the learning satisfaction of students in distance learning nursing education programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
FLOWER: An Approach for Enhancing E-Learning Experience Amid COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 3823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073823 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 481
Abstract
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher institutions to shift towards electronic (e) learning. Despite a plethora of research on the responses of higher education institutions to COVID-19 and their shift towards e-learning, research often focuses on the opportunities and/or challenges of e-learning [...] Read more.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher institutions to shift towards electronic (e) learning. Despite a plethora of research on the responses of higher education institutions to COVID-19 and their shift towards e-learning, research often focuses on the opportunities and/or challenges of e-learning amid COVID-19. Notwithstanding this, limited research has addressed how e-learning experiences can be enhanced among medical students, who often need conventional leaning, especially for practical courses. This research addresses a gap in the knowledge and examined medical students’ perceptions of e-learning using the Blackboard platform, and the elements or predicators that affect their e-learning experience amid COVID-19 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An online survey was transmitted to medical students in three main public universities. Based on the findings, a FLOWER model was proposed for improving e-learning experience using Blackboard among medical students. This model includes six dimensions: feedback, leverage to remain motivated, open resources and information, working together, evaluation, and reflection and knowledge. These dimensions are interrelated, and enable the creation of a positive e-learning experience. The results showed that four of the six dimensions have high positive and significant path coefficients: open sources and information; leverage to remain motivated; working together; and reflection and knowledge construction. Two of the six dimensions have low positive, but significant, path coefficients (feedback and evaluation), which require further consideration by policymakers and educators. The results have several theoretical and practical implications, which are elaborated upon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
E-Learning Success Model in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic in Higher Educational Institutions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052865 - 01 Mar 2022
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Nowadays, the extensive use of e-learning in higher educational institutions in many countries leads us to apprehend the reality, precisely the key success/failure factors of the implementation, of e-learning systems in these institutions. This motivation becomes more and more important, inevitable, and urgent, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the extensive use of e-learning in higher educational institutions in many countries leads us to apprehend the reality, precisely the key success/failure factors of the implementation, of e-learning systems in these institutions. This motivation becomes more and more important, inevitable, and urgent, especially for institutions that have heavily adopted e-learning systems under exceptional conditions without any prior planning, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. From this perspective, this research aimed to provide an e-learning success model in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing e-learning effectiveness and by investigating the key antecedents of e-learning effectiveness. The literature review led to the identification of four main factors influencing e-learning effectiveness: The e-learning system, e-learning readiness, interactivity, and resistance to change. These four variables constituted the antecedents of an effective e-learning system, which was tested in a KSA context. A structured survey, including a sample of 1202 students from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University was used to examine the linkages among our proposed model. The model, with a total of ten direct and six indirect relationships, was tested by using structural equation modeling. The research findings indicate that effective e-learning is supported by the interactions between four factors: the e-learning system, e-learning readiness, interactivity, and resistance to change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Training Plan for the Continuity of Non-Presential Education in Six Peruvian Universities during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031562 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 684
Abstract
This article shows the response offered by the UTEC-UNED-TECSUP Consortium to six Peruvian public (national) universities aimed at strengthening the digital competences of their communities, made up of managers, teachers, students, and support technicians. The contextual and situational diagnosis, which covered organizational, technological, [...] Read more.
This article shows the response offered by the UTEC-UNED-TECSUP Consortium to six Peruvian public (national) universities aimed at strengthening the digital competences of their communities, made up of managers, teachers, students, and support technicians. The contextual and situational diagnosis, which covered organizational, technological, and competence dimensions, revealed a series of cross-cutting needs related to technological skills that prevented the training or mobilization of the digital competences necessary for progress in the other dimensions under study. The response was an online training plan, consisting of three training programs and eighty-three courses. The pedagogical strategy was based on the scaling of competence achievements that ended with problem-solving and applications in daily activities. The accompaniment was carried out through virtual tutorials, distributed via synchronous and asynchronous sessions. In total, 5034 were involved—347 were teachers and managers, 4932 were students, and 25 were technical staff. The pedagogical and socio-emotional limitations of the university community, as well as the scarcity of technological resources and poor connectivity, meant that the plan was only partially implemented. Moreover, the short and intense period of development to which the universities were subjected was also a factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Autonomy, Motivation, and Digital Pedagogy Are Key Factors in the Perceptions of Spanish Higher-Education Students toward Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020654 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 752
Abstract
This paper proposes a development model of the adaptation capacity of students to digital transformation in university teaching through three constructs: motivations, digital pedagogy, and student autonomy. For this study, an ad hoc scale was created to record the adaptation capacity of students [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a development model of the adaptation capacity of students to digital transformation in university teaching through three constructs: motivations, digital pedagogy, and student autonomy. For this study, an ad hoc scale was created to record the adaptation capacity of students to digital transformation. The sample was 483 students from the University of Seville (Spain), to whom an online survey was administered during the development of online teaching in the period of November 2020 using the Google Forms platform. The findings of this study showed that university student motivation acquired a greater threshold than autonomy, whose threshold in turn, was greater than that of digital pedagogy in the ability to adapt to online teaching and that the capacity of adaptation to the online modality is explained by the perception that university students have of the usefulness, products, and learning outcomes, among others. In conclusion, the lack of adequate and enabled study spaces is key to developing the online model. We consider all these aspects as prospective research objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Experiences and Challenges of an English as a Medium of Instruction Course in Taiwan during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412920 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
Recently, Taiwan’s higher education has been impacted by COVID-19 and the necessity of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). In 2018, the Taiwanese government approved a roadmap for the development of a bilingual nation by 2030. This resulted in a renewed focus [...] Read more.
Recently, Taiwan’s higher education has been impacted by COVID-19 and the necessity of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). In 2018, the Taiwanese government approved a roadmap for the development of a bilingual nation by 2030. This resulted in a renewed focus on EMI. However, the fluctuating surges of COVID-19 have caused university classes to shift from face-to-face to online. To assess its effectiveness, the current paper describes the quantitative and qualitative experiences and challenges associated with a blended EMI course within a private Taiwanese university. The data was collected from the students in the spring semester of 2020 (40 students) and 2021 (23 students). Overall satisfaction rate is calculated at 4.13; indicating that the transition from face-to-face to online has not affected the students’ overall satisfaction with the course. In addition, interviews and focus groups respondents pointed out the importance of a student-centered course approach and the opportunity to practice English in order to improve their competitiveness. While the flexibility offered by the blended learning approach during COVID-19 has given students more freedom to learn at their own pace. Lastly, in times of uncertainty, a careful pedagogical design will help to make the learning process fruitful and sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Online Training in Accessibility and Design for All: A Tool to Train Post-COVID Inclusive Graduates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312582 - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Agenda 2030 expresses, through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and in particular through No. 4, the need to ensure an inclusive and equitable education, which promotes learning opportunities for all. At the university level, all students are urged to acquire the necessary theoretical [...] Read more.
Agenda 2030 expresses, through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and in particular through No. 4, the need to ensure an inclusive and equitable education, which promotes learning opportunities for all. At the university level, all students are urged to acquire the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to promote sustainable development, so that they become graduates capable of facing the challenges of the future and the real demands of a society marked by heterogeneity, including the needs of people with some kind of disability. In this sense, the present work analyzed the impact of a transversal training program in Design for All on university degree students. For this purpose, a descriptive and comparative ex post facto study was developed in which the impact of an online training program was quantified by establishing comparative pre- and post-training. The results indicate that the approach, through the delivery of a training xplain eon Design for All, contributed to a change in the perceptions of students regarding disability, its role in the university and in the future workplace. Furthermore, it increased the knowledge of institutional action undertaken in terms of awareness and approach to human disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Reflections throughout the COVID-19 Lockdown: What Do I Need for Successful Learning of Engineering?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111527 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
The intention of this study was to identify the elements that engineering students consider fundamental for successful learning on engineering courses. The aim was to provide generic guidelines suitable for any engineering course with which the teaching may be adapted in the light [...] Read more.
The intention of this study was to identify the elements that engineering students consider fundamental for successful learning on engineering courses. The aim was to provide generic guidelines suitable for any engineering course with which the teaching may be adapted in the light of comments from students, while student learning improves. The abrupt transition from face-to-face to asynchronous online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted reflection among students on both teaching methods. Students were invited to evaluate each method through a survey of open-ended questions, identifying useful elements for their learning. The survey was repeated over nine weeks, to obtain the views of students after they had accepted the change and had critically analyzed how to improve online teaching. A cross-coded qualitative and mixed (word counting) analysis showed that the explanation of engineering concepts should be organized, hierarchical, repetitive, and exemplified. Furthermore, the teacher should link all the activities and projects to the concepts explained and quickly solve any doubts that they raised. As a consequence of the online teaching resulting from COVID-19, the need of independent student learning and peer support was also very evident. Teaching functions are essential on engineering courses, as teachers have to explain the overall concepts carefully, identify the key concepts, and demonstrate their industrial and professional applications. Furthermore, teaching methodologies that balance these aspects with autonomy and peer support for learning on engineering courses should be promoted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
School–Family Relations: An Educational Challenge in Times of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10681; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010681 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 674
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap regarding access to educational opportunities, which was included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This descriptive, quantitative study aims to examine the communication strategies employed by secondary schools in Spain during the lockdown, as well as [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap regarding access to educational opportunities, which was included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This descriptive, quantitative study aims to examine the communication strategies employed by secondary schools in Spain during the lockdown, as well as to analyse the co-responsibility of the educational process between schools and families. An ad hoc questionnaire (GIESBAFCOV-19) was designed and implemented to gather information. The results show that, in most cases, mothers were responsible for assisting and supervising their children’s homework as persons in charge of education-related matters. Additionally, before the lockdown was put in place, about half of the participating families received information from the educative centres regarding the disease and sanitary measures. Once the lockdown took place, families put the focus on their children’s schoolwork, not without difficulties in academic and digital literacy. In general, the families were satisfied with the communication established with the educational centres. The present study has raised the necessity to improve communication between centres and families and to reflect on the tools and systems used for its exchange. Consequently, it seems that information and digital competences should be promoted to guarantee an equalitarian education for all. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Motivational Factors in the Use of Videoconferences to Carry out Tutorials in Spanish Universities in the Post-Pandemic Period
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910474 - 05 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Many of the tools used for virtual teaching during the pandemic had not been used previously, but they could continue to be used when traditional teaching returns. For this reason, this study focused on locating the key motivational factors for the possible continuation [...] Read more.
Many of the tools used for virtual teaching during the pandemic had not been used previously, but they could continue to be used when traditional teaching returns. For this reason, this study focused on locating the key motivational factors for the possible continuation of the use of one of these tools, videoconferencing, to carry out tutorials in Spanish universities as a complement to face-to-face tutorials. For this, a literary review was conducted to obtain a list of motivational factors that may influence teachers to continuing using it, and a causal study was performed with university professors (through fuzzy cognitive maps) to identify the causal relationships among these factors and classify them by their relevance in making a decision. The most influential factors are intention, attitude and perceived compatibility with how tutorials are given, and the negative factors include quality management and trust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
One Year of Online Education in COVID-19 Age, a Challenge for the Romanian Education System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158129 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2525
Abstract
The study tried to analyze the implication of one year of online education in the Romanian education system. To achieve this goal, the authors of this study analyzed all the levels of education, primary education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education, and even [...] Read more.
The study tried to analyze the implication of one year of online education in the Romanian education system. To achieve this goal, the authors of this study analyzed all the levels of education, primary education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education, and even the early childhood system, but also one of the smallest Romanian universities, considered representative for grade 1 universities representing 60% of the Romanian universities. The study is based on four online questionnaires for investigation, first with more than 2500 respondents from the primary and secondary Romanian education system, and the other three applied to more than 800 students and professors from the University of Petroșani. The investigation took place during 29 January 2021 and 11 February 2021. The authors had investigated the main feature of a standard online or a classical e-learning solution, such as the meeting solution or the video conference software, the collaborative work, such as homework or projects, and the testing method or the quizzes from both perspectives of the students and of the professors. The study results could influence the expected future hybrid educational system because these results were not covered in the previous literature but proved to be necessary for relevant knowledge strategies to be implemented in the new pandemic and also in the future context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Analysis of Digital Competence for Spanish Teachers at Pre-University Educational Key Stages during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158093 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
Over time, the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) has become increasingly important in most areas of our lives, including education. So much so, that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of these tools has been essential to continue the teaching process. [...] Read more.
Over time, the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) has become increasingly important in most areas of our lives, including education. So much so, that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of these tools has been essential to continue the teaching process. One of the great challenges facing teachers today is their need to adapt to this new educational scenario by acquiring the necessary digital skills. The aim of this study is to determine the level of competence of teaching in pre-university education key stages. To this end, a questionnaire was distributed among education centres and teachers in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, obtaining 109 valid responses. The analysis methodology was the formation of clusters using the K-means model. The results confirmed that the teachers perceived a medium-high level of knowledge and use of ICT. Moreover, that this digital competence is conditioned by factors such as age, experience, gender, and level of education. In conclusion, public administrations are encouraged to facilitate teachers’ knowledge and application of ICT according to the profiles identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Emergency Remote Education, Family Support and the Digital Divide in the Context of the COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7956; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157956 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1900
Abstract
To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, governments all over the world implemented strong lockdown measures to a large part of the population, including the closing of educational centres. Teachers were urged to transform their teaching methodology, moving from a face-to-face model to an emergency [...] Read more.
To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, governments all over the world implemented strong lockdown measures to a large part of the population, including the closing of educational centres. Teachers were urged to transform their teaching methodology, moving from a face-to-face model to an emergency remote education (ERE) model, characterised by the use of technologies to continue with lectures and maintain the physical distance with the students. The aim of the present study was to analyse the existence of socio-digital inequalities and the educational challenges posed by the development of an ERE model, hence, contributing to the literature by proposing a systematic and holistic approach on this phenomenon. Based on the characteristics of the research problem and the objectives set, a qualitative methodology was applied. On the one hand, a semi-structured interview was conducted with 136 active teachers as the main data gathering technique. On the other hand, grounded theory was key in interpreting the results, with the aim of generating the theory in a systematic and holistic manner. It can be asserted that ERE was very useful during the lockdown of schools, and its potential to transform education was demonstrated. However, it was also shown that the development of an ERE model can cause socio-digital inequalities among students, due to the lack of access to digital devices and Internet connection, mainly due to factors, such as the socio-educational level of the family and the rural or urban context of the centre. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Pedagogical Leaders and the Teaching—Learning Processes in COVID-19 Times
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7731; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157731 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the main decisions made by pedagogical leaders, comprising institutional management teams, heads of departments, and teachers in general, in order to improve teaching–learning processes and promote the comprehensive education of students—in particular, secondary school students during the pandemic [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the main decisions made by pedagogical leaders, comprising institutional management teams, heads of departments, and teachers in general, in order to improve teaching–learning processes and promote the comprehensive education of students—in particular, secondary school students during the pandemic period, located in the regions of Andalusia and Madrid (Spain). An integrated mixed methodology was applied, composed of the contributions of discussion groups and content analysis of the corresponding open questions presented in each of the constitutive dimensions of the questionnaire. Such analyses were expanded by applying an ad-hoc designed questionnaire, which indicates the main actions developed by leaders and their implications in the educational community, when working on communication facilitation processes, using program planning through the support of technologies and decision making regarding the training of teachers, didactic resources, and the emergence of competences to be trained by the leaders participating in the research. The results highlight the dedication, commitment, and implication of pedagogical leaders during the COVID-19 period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
The Educational Community in the Face of COVID-19. Discursive Analysis on Vulnerability and Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136716 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1198
Abstract
This article presents the results of research the objective of which was to know the opinion of directors of different educational centers about the management carried out in their centers and the possible difficulties encountered during the suspension of face-to-face classes caused by [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of research the objective of which was to know the opinion of directors of different educational centers about the management carried out in their centers and the possible difficulties encountered during the suspension of face-to-face classes caused by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research method is qualitative, exploratory, descriptive, and inductive. The study sample is made up of 43 managers of educational centers, who were selected by applying an intentional sampling based on criteria of age, experience, ownership of the center, teachings that are taught, and the socioeconomic context where it is located. A questionnaire was used to collect the information, previously designed and validated through the judgment of experts, to inquire about the organization and management from the management team, the development of the academic task with the students, and the relationship with the families during the course period of cessation of classroom activities. To make an adequate approximation to the reality studied, an exhaustive content analysis of the speeches issued by the participants was carried out. Among the main conclusions of the research are the difficulties they have experienced during the closure of schools in relation to the lack of strategic planning to reconvert face-to-face education to the online format, scarcity of technological resources in centers and homes, training deficit in digital skills, increasing the digital divide, attention to students with special educational needs or communication problems with students and their families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Learners’ Perspective towards E-Exams during COVID-19 Outbreak: Evidence from Higher Educational Institutions of India and Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126534 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Online examinations, commonly referred to as e-exams (electronic examinations), underwent a considerable progression, getting adapted ubiquitously among higher education institutions worldwide. Their preferment was rapid due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of conducting exams online is being opted as [...] Read more.
Online examinations, commonly referred to as e-exams (electronic examinations), underwent a considerable progression, getting adapted ubiquitously among higher education institutions worldwide. Their preferment was rapid due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of conducting exams online is being opted as the appropriate way of assessment, ensuring the students’ safety and well-being. According to Warts et al., this form of examination has been pretty effective in the past when blended with the conventional assessment. However, at present, implemented as the singular way of assessment, e-exams have shown a more significant promise in being beneficial to the learners. As a matter of fact, a comprehensive analysis on understanding the learners’ perception towards the e-exams was not done earlier, particularly in the developing nations. Thus, it was pertinent to examine the pre-requisites of e-exams to promote it as a useful tool for the smooth conduct of exams in the aforesaid nations. Against such a backdrop, this study was conducted during January to March 2021 on 207 students enrolled in four universities, three situated in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, India: Delhi University (DU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and one situated in Saudi Arabia, namely Saudi Electronic University (SEU). A quantitative approach was employed for the study, with the responses recorded via web questionnaires. Confirmatory -factor analysis (CFA) was applied in the study to examine whether the process of conducting online examinations is being chosen as the appropriate form of assessment, ensuring the safety and well-being of students through AMOS (version 24) software. For determining the reliability of the two latent constructs, namely “Perceptions of students towards E-exams (PSE)” and “Pre-requisites of E-exams (POE),” Cronbach’s alpha was used through SPSS (version 25) software in the study, and the results reveal that the strong internal consistency exists between all the measured variables. In addition, the mean and standard deviation were used by the researchers to find out the pre-requisites of the online examination system. The participants expressed their insights on the relative benefits of online examination. Their perception was based on pedagogy, validity and reliability, affective factors, practicality, and security. From their insights, it was concluded that online examination is more advantageous than conventional paper-based exams. The outcome also applies to the authenticity of grading and the overall efficiency concerning the time, effort, and expenditure on conducting the examination. Contrarily, the participating students also recognized numerous hurdles in implementing e-exams concerning security, validity, and impartiality. The conclusion further revealed that online examination is especially relevant for formative assessment of learning instead of summative assessment, provided authenticity, security, and flexibility are used as fundamental tenants in the proper implementation of e-exams. The outcome of the present study will facilitate higher education institutions and policymakers in taking the electronic examination system to the next level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
EU27 Higher Education Institutions and COVID-19, Year 2020
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115963 - 02 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
COVID-19 forced higher education institutions to reinvent themselves. The (usually) face-to-face education has swapped to distance contingency education. This change brought about numerous challenges that impose adjustments in several dimensions, such as pedagogical strategies and the dependence on teaching platforms and computer systems—and, [...] Read more.
COVID-19 forced higher education institutions to reinvent themselves. The (usually) face-to-face education has swapped to distance contingency education. This change brought about numerous challenges that impose adjustments in several dimensions, such as pedagogical strategies and the dependence on teaching platforms and computer systems—and, above all, the new relationship between the various actors (students, teachers, and management staff). All the sudden changes, combined with uncertainty concerning what was happening, created several strategies and options. This paper has the main purpose of analyzing the scientific production on higher education of EU27 academic institutions during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in journals indexed in Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science and Elsevier’s Scopus. The sample is composed of 22 articles in total. The results show that the articles were published in 19 journals; their main focuses are Higher Education, COVID-19, and distance learning. In our database, we find several types of concerns, which shows that HEIs have a wide range of dimensions. We intend this article to be an instrument, not only to identify what was done in 2020, but to point out clues for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
The Pandemic and Changes in the Self-Perception of Teacher Digital Competences of Infant Grade Students: A Cross Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094756 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Without having a reaction time, the pandemic has caused an unprecedented transformation in universities around the world, leading to a revolution from structured models anchored in the conception of transmission of training towards a teaching approach-learning saved thanks to the incorporation of technology. [...] Read more.
Without having a reaction time, the pandemic has caused an unprecedented transformation in universities around the world, leading to a revolution from structured models anchored in the conception of transmission of training towards a teaching approach-learning saved thanks to the incorporation of technology. This study aims to verify whether the pandemic situation has influenced the digital competence self-perception of students. Comparing two groups during the academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, the instrument used is the questionnaire for digital competence “DigCompEdu Check-In” for future teachers. After the educational intervention, group A (before COVID-19) presented higher self-perceptions of competence than group B (during COVID-19); the pandemic situation caused by COVID-19 has negatively influenced students’ self-perception of their digital skills in the pretest in the different dimensions under study. Before receiving the training, the group that did not experience the pandemic enjoyed a higher self-perception of their competencies than the group that experienced the pandemic. The data obtained indicate that the difference exists, and that it is statistically significant, and may be a consequence of the clear relationship between self-perception and the way in which students face reality through their personal and subjective vision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
Article
Spanish Adaptation and Validation of the Teaching and Learning Experiences Questionnaire
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073518 - 29 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Training processes are mainly based on the pedagogical methods applied by teachers. In many cases, these pedagogical methods are adapted to the social, economic, and cultural environment of the students themselves. In this study, we used a psychometric analysis based on the analysis [...] Read more.
Training processes are mainly based on the pedagogical methods applied by teachers. In many cases, these pedagogical methods are adapted to the social, economic, and cultural environment of the students themselves. In this study, we used a psychometric analysis based on the analysis of structural equations to detect the psychometric properties through classical goodness-of-fit indices. The objective of this study was to translate, adapt, and validate the instrument called the Teaching and Learning Experiences Questionnaire (ETLQ) for the population of Spanish adolescents in secondary education. The rrecommendations in the literature were followed for its translation and adaptation into Spanish. The results indicate that, after translation and adaptation, the model remained in 11 factors with acceptable goodness-of-fit indices. We conclude that the process of translation, adaptation, and validation of the ETLQ has produced a valid and reliable tool due to the psychometric findings revealed in the present work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Facing COVID-19 Challenges: 1st-Year Students’ Experience with the Romanian Hybrid Higher Educational System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063058 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3261
Abstract
First-year students undergo several transformations like the transition from high school to university schedules, teaching methods, and discipline specificities to social changes that come with meeting new colleagues or moving to other locations far from family and friends. The COVID-19 outbreak brought additional [...] Read more.
First-year students undergo several transformations like the transition from high school to university schedules, teaching methods, and discipline specificities to social changes that come with meeting new colleagues or moving to other locations far from family and friends. The COVID-19 outbreak brought additional concerns and uncertainties once educational systems implemented distance learning schemes for public health management. Nevertheless, higher educational organizations preferred to implement hybrid approaches for student engagement motivation and high dropout rate avoidance. In Romania, such an educational system has been applied with caution. Since the pandemic needs to be understood as an opportunity for adaptation and education improvements, the purpose of the present paper is to uncover lessons learned and to develop a systematized model based on students’ perception regarding face-to-face, online and hybrid systems. For this reason, a grounded theory approach has been preferred. Thus, 149 Romanian students enrolled in the first year in engineering specialities with ages between 18–26 years both male (50.3%) and female (49.7%) have answered the research questions in an online environment due to pandemic restrictions. Based on the online asynchronous student interviews, 220 codes and a further 13 categories have been developed. After a pertinent analysis of the relationships between categories and relevant literature sorting, a theoretical model for the Romanian higher educational current pandemic situation has been proposed. The main face-to-face and online education characteristics are outlined, the hybrid approach becoming a bridge between the two systems. Management implications are outlined together with further research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
The Teaching Digital Competence of Health Sciences Teachers. A Study at Andalusian Universities (Spain)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052552 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
The impact and benefit that information and communication technologies (ICT) have in the educational field require new teaching skills. This fact has been increased by the recent crisis caused by COVID-19. This study tries to investigate the level of digital teaching competence (DTC) [...] Read more.
The impact and benefit that information and communication technologies (ICT) have in the educational field require new teaching skills. This fact has been increased by the recent crisis caused by COVID-19. This study tries to investigate the level of digital teaching competence (DTC) of Higher Education teachers of Health Sciences, and its relationship with several variables. For this, it has the participation of 300 teachers from the 9 universities of Andalusia (Spain). The research is structured through a descriptive (RQ1) and inferential (RQ2) design. The answers given to the DigCompEdu Check-In questionnaire adapted to the Spanish context are analyzed. The results, which show high levels of reliability of the questionnaire (Cronbach and McDonald) and validity (CFA), indicate that the level of competence is basic-intermediate. In addition, the area in which teachers excel is digital resources. For this reason, it is proposed to structure personalized training plans and continue expanding the characteristics of this study at an international level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
Measuring Online Teaching Service Quality in Higher Education in the COVID-19 Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052403 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
The use of the Internet to develop new technologies has generated a considerable change in teaching and student learning in higher education. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has forced universities to switch from face-to-face to online instruction. Furthermore, this transfer process was planned [...] Read more.
The use of the Internet to develop new technologies has generated a considerable change in teaching and student learning in higher education. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has forced universities to switch from face-to-face to online instruction. Furthermore, this transfer process was planned and executed quickly, with urgent redesigns of courses originally conceived for live teaching. The aim of this work is to measure the service quality of online teaching delivered during the COVID-19 period. The methodology was based on an importance-performance analysis using a structural equations model. The data were obtained from a sample of 467 students attending a university in southern Spain. The results reveal five priority attributes of online teaching that need to be improved in order to enhance the service quality of the virtual instruction provided to students. Universities need to redefine their online format by integrating methodological and technological decisions and involving collaboration between teachers, students and administration staff and services. The results do not apply to educational institutions that exclusively teach courses online, but to those institutions that had to rapidly adapt, and shift course material originally designed for face-to-face training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Article
The Outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Social Impact on Education: Were Engineering Teachers Ready to Teach Online?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042127 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
The major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still affecting all social dimensions. Its specific impact on education is extensive and quite evident in the adaptation from Face-to-Face (F2F) teaching to online methodologies throughout the first wave of the pandemic and the strict [...] Read more.
The major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still affecting all social dimensions. Its specific impact on education is extensive and quite evident in the adaptation from Face-to-Face (F2F) teaching to online methodologies throughout the first wave of the pandemic and the strict rules on lockdown. As lesson formats changed radically, the relevance of evaluating student on-line learning processes in university degrees throughout this period became clear. For this purpose, the perceptions of engineering students towards five specific course units forming part of engineering degree courses at the University of Burgos, Spain, were evaluated to assess the quality of the online teaching they received. Comparisons were also drawn with their perceptions of the F2F teaching of the course units prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. According to the students’ perceptions, the teachers possessed the technical knowledge, the social skills, and the personal capabilities (empathy and understanding of the at times troubled situation of each student) for a very abrupt adaptation of their courses to an online methodology. The shortcomings of the online teaching were related to its particularities and each teacher’s personality traits. Overall, engineering teachers appeared well prepared for a situation of these characteristics and, if similar online teaching scenarios were ever repeated, the quality of engineering teaching appears to be guaranteed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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Systematic Review
Family and School Relationship during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111710 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Education systems worldwide have been affected by a sudden interruption in classroom learning because the coronavirus pandemic forced both the closure of all schools in March 2020 and the beginning of distance learning from home, thus compelling families, schools, and students to work [...] Read more.
Education systems worldwide have been affected by a sudden interruption in classroom learning because the coronavirus pandemic forced both the closure of all schools in March 2020 and the beginning of distance learning from home, thus compelling families, schools, and students to work together in a more coordinated fashion. The present systematic review was carried out following PRISMA guidelines. The main objective was to present critical information on the relationship between the family and the school in the face of the imposed distance learning scenario caused by COVID-19. A total of 25 articles dealing with the relationships established during the pandemic of any of the three agents involved (family, students, and school) were analysed. The results showed that the relationships between the three groups involved must be improved to some extent to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of distance learning. In conclusion, the educational scenario during the pandemic has been one of the most significant challenges experienced in the recent history of education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19: Issues on Health Economics and Education)
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