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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(2), 608-630.
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Challenges and opportunities of online learning: Insights from Cambodian higher education during Covid-19

Kimkong Heng
Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, Cambodia

Koemhong Sol
International Christian University, Japan

Samarnh Pang
Purdue University, USA

Online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic has received a lot of research attention since the start of the pandemic. Drawing on survey data from 1,024 Cambodian university students (60% were females), this study aims to contribute to an understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with this mode of learning and explore university students' attitudes towards it. The study revealed key challenges related to the expense of purchasing Internet data, connectivity issues, disruptive environments for learning, reduced learning interactions, and psychological issues, among other challenges. On the other hand, major opportunities presented by online learning included, among others, improvements in digital knowledge and skills, greater readiness for blended/hybrid learning, enhanced preparedness for future crises, and exposure to greater integration of information and communication technology. The study also revealed that half (50.7%) of the students preferred blended/hybrid learning after the pandemic. Moreover, about one-third (34.8%) of them did not want to continue online learning, while only 14.6% preferred online learning moving forward. The study highlighted reasons behind these preferences and discussed implications for both policy and practice as well as for future research.
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Authors: Kimkong Heng PhD (corresponding author) is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia. He is also a Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Cambodian Education Forum, and a National Technical Advisor at the Department of Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia. His research interests include TESOL, research engagement, and higher education.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0884-4788
Email: kimkongheng@gmail.com

Koemhong Sol is a Japanese Government (MEXT) scholar pursuing a PhD in Education at International Christian University, Japan. He is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Cambodian Education Forum. His research focuses on teacher education, continuous professional development for teachers, school leadership, special education, higher education, and learning and teaching assessment.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1316-929X
Email: koemhongsol.edu@gmail.com

Samarnh Pang is a PhD student and graduate teaching assistant at the College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. He mainly teaches ELT and research-related courses. His research interests revolve around TESOL, teacher education, and educational technology.
Email: samarnh@gmail.com

Please cite as: Heng, K., Sol, K. & Pang, S. (2023). Challenges and opportunities of online learning: Insights from Cambodian higher education during Covid-19. Issues in Educational Research, 33(2), 608-630. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/heng.pdf

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