Education in emergency: Action research on online teaching and learning practice in a Bhutanese school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords:Action research, online teaching and learning, COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutanese School,21st century skills
Countries around the world were disrupted because of COVID-19 in the year 2020. All sorts of lives were affected and Bhutan too was not spared. Education system in Bhutan had to come-up with different strategies to cater the learning needs of the students. There was no option other than using online teaching and learning mode amid the lock downs and closure of the schools. The mode was a novice concept to most teachers. Thus, we explored strategies a teacher could use to teach online and students’ opinion on it using mixed methods approach. We designed a strategy to teach students on online mode. The strategy focused on inclusion of salient features of online teaching and learning. These features aligned to creating constructive and collaborative learning environment, timely support, quality tools, effective assessment strategy, and timely feedbacks. The intervention strategy was implemented for eight months. At the end of the academic year, a survey questionnaire was administered to 56 students of classes six and seven. To further gain insights into the practices, semi-structured interviews were employed with five students and the teacher practitioner maintained a journal for every online lesson. Responses from the survey showed that salient features could be created in an online mode of teaching and learning. However, technological issues, students’ inability to manage time, inadequate technical knowledge, and student participation were identified as some of the challenges.