Determinants in Distance Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Academic Paper, 2021

21 Pages, Grade: 1.0


Table of Contents

Theoretical Background

Data Gathering Procedure
Scoring Procedure





Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in nose, sinuses or upper throat. The outbreak quickly spread around the world (WebMd, 2021). The global impact of Covid-19 manifests in various sectors of society including health, the economy, and education. With government agencies, private organizations, and academic institutions working hard to develop new antiviral and therapeutic solutions, minimum health standard measures have been implemented in various places to slow the spread of the virus. However, due to the quick rise in infections, many countries enforced strict quarantine and lockdown measures. In the Philippines, the government decided to impose an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in March 2020 in many regions of the country to slow down the spread of Covid-19 and to prevent the overburdening of the health system. This quarantine mechanism restricted most non-essential activities and movements outside the home.

The education sector has been severely hit by the ongoing pandemic. When the ECQ was declared in March 2020, all schools in the Philippines were ordered to close. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also advised educations and students to adopt alternative learning in order to mitigate the cancellation of face-to-face classes. Since March 2020, schools in many parts of the world have been using a mixture of distance learning strategies such as online classes, printed modules, and TV/radio lessons to ensure that a learning environment is maintained where the students are located.

Distance learning has become the sole modality of the teaching and learning process in the Philippines due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since face-to-face classes are still prohibited with no end in sight, it is important to assess the experience of teachers handling distance learning education in terms of the support they have received, and the challenges encountered. I would like to study and examines the support provided by the schools, the challenges encountered by the teachers, and the support they need to thrive in distance learning education.

As this pandemic is slated to exist until the preventive vaccine is discovered, it is essential to know how the educators who are the prime facilitators of the education adjusted to this transition and what challenges they faced while adapting to this transition as their preparedness for the coming times. There were concerns about whether such a new approach will strengthen learning and whether, or how, teaching will resume at the end of the de-escalation. It is already being predicted that it will be used as a primary mode of imparting education during the pandemic. Hence, this study aims to find out the school in distance learning education by elementary teachers during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Mandaue City Central School.

Theoretical Background

This study is anchored on theories related to Distance Education as the twenty-first century has witnessed an extraordinary worldwide spread of cyberculture and distance education. Nowadays, students and instructors can use both multimodal synchronous and asynchronous platforms and blended learning to facilitate the learning/teaching process. This study is anchored on theories on self-determination theory, independence and autonomy industrialization of teaching, and theory of interaction and communication. It also anchored on some of provisions of Republic Act 9155, “Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001 and supported by DepEd Order No. 14, s .2020, Guidelines on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools and DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2020, Adoption of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan for Schools in Light of the COVID -19 Public Health Emergency.

Distance Education, also called distance learning, is the education of students who may not be physically present at a school. Keegan (1995) reaffirmed for a theory of distance education by stating that a firmly based theory of distance education is one that can provide the touchstone against which financial, educational, and social can be made with confidence. The theory cease to ad hoc response to a set of conditions arising in crisis situations of problem-solving which characterizes of the field of education. It is characterized by the fragility of the non-traditional in education.

Theory of Interaction and Communication. Borje Holmberg’s theory of distance education, what he calls “guided didactic conversation”, falls into the general category of communication theory (Schlosser & Simonson 2009). As Simonson et al. (2006) justifies, at first Holmberg proposed seven background assumptions and in 1995 these assumptions were extended. Accordingly, the theory distinguished distance education serves individual learners who cannot or do not want to make use of face-to-face teaching and personal relations, study pleasure and empathy between students and those supporting them are central to learning in distance education. Holmberg (1986) highlights that the dialogue between the learner and the teacher as the basic characteristic of distance education and states that guided conversation facilitates learning.

Holmberg (1986) regards distance education as the conversational interaction between the student on the one hand and the tutor/adviser of the host organization. The central concepts of his theory are motivation, empathy, non-contiguous communication, learner autonomy and interpersonal communication. To describe in Holmberg's way how distance teachers should communicate with students to ensure real learning, he uses the analogy of the conversation to describe the didactic conversation and derived seven postulates. Guided didactic communication includes: Simulated conversation (one-sided, presentation of materials) and Real conversation (two-sided between tutor and student). Examples of simulated conversations are conversations like presentations of learning matter, self-control exercises, review questions with model answers and inserted questions.

In essence, Holmberg believes that by promoting empathy between learning and tutoring parties through appropriate one- and two-way interactions, learners are motivated and encouraged to participate personally in their studies. It also generally assumes that "genuine learning is primarily an individual activity and can only be achieved through a process of internalization". This assumption is one in which the theory of distance education can be justified. The aim of his theory is therefore to support individualized learning.

Working during COVID-19, training needs of teachers in the face of a paradigm shift in a context in which schools have closed the doors in 185 countries and government administrations have ordered the transition to the tele-training of students, it has manifested the need to train teaching in the use of different technological tools, in order to adapt the different elements of the curriculum to the new context of a pandemic. We are facing a change in the educational paradigm in which online training through ICT has ceased to be an option in the teaching methodology and has become a necessity in these times of pandemic in order to continue with the student learning process (Diaz, etal., 2020).

DepEd Order No. 14, s .2020. This Order provides the Guidelines on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools. Department of Education (DepEd) shall be vested with authority, accountability and responsibility for ensuring access to, promoting equity in, and improving the quality of basic education. The school administrators shall be both an instructional leader and administrative manager. The school head shall form a team with the school teachers/learning facilitators for delivery of quality educational programs, projects and services. Consistent with the national educational policies, plans and standards, they shall have authority, accountability and responsibility for the administering and managing all personnel, physical and fiscal resources of the school.

DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2020. This Order directed for the Adoption of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan for Schools in Light of the COVID -19 Public Health Emergency provides that in order to provide clear guidance to all offices, units, schools, and community learning centers of the Department of Education, learners and their parents, partners and stakeholders, the Department developed a Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan, a package of education interventions that will respond to basic education challenges brought about by COVID 19. This is abided by the principle to facilitate the safe return of the teaching and non-teaching personnel to workplaces and school, taking into consideration the scenarios projected by the Department of Health (DOH). And the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the management of emerging infectious diseases in the Philippines complemented by other credible sources, and balanced with the DepEd’s own risk assessment. Also, the Department ensures learning continuity through K-12 curriculum adjustments, alignment of learning materials, deployment of multiple learning delivery modalities, provision of corresponding training for teachers and school leaders and proper orientation of parents or guardians of learners.

The COVID-19 pandemic led educators to online education readiness. According to Phan & Dang (2017), factors such as training, attitude, technical competence, time constraints, pedagogy, and methodology were among the major distance learning education elements. In a study conducted by Ventayin (2018) on the readiness of DepEd Teachers to online teaching, showed that despite the limited experience in distance education such as technical skills, time management, knowledge and attitude in online education, they were still able to cope with the trends in distance learning. Moreover, readiness and satisfaction levels were also found among prospective teachers in other countries like Turkey and Thailand in terms of web-based education (Ozturk, Ozturk & Ozen, 2018; and Akarawang, Kidrakran & Nuangchalerm, 2015). Further, in the study on the response from 205 online faculty of higher institutions in the United States in terms of readiness, attitude and ability to teach online in terms of course design, course communication, time management and technical aspects most of the responses were rated high (Martin, Budhrani & Wang, 2019).

Some of the problems encountered in distance learning education during difficult times include in the preparation of the printed module as a tool for distance learning or was ready to use online modules or learning materials available on the internet, such as Youtube, Ted Talk and Khan Academy and learning management systems like Edmodo, Canvas, Google Classroom, and Zoom as means of online or distance learning education. Agung et al. (2020) conducted research and found out that student’ attendance of and participation in online lectures, how they receive course syllabi and assignments, and their perceptions of the various eLearning platforms they use encountered many obstacles during their online learning, including internet interruptions in eLearning platforms and inaccessibility of learning materials and assignments in such platforms. It implied that the lack of facilities, equipment, and capacity building to distance learning education hinder the teachers in offering distance learning education.

The readiness of the respective institutions determines if they have an information dissemination system to communicate with the parents and the learners during the COVID-19 outbreak, capacity building on distance learning education offered by the school to teachers and if it has a designated workforce for the COVID-19. Also, this is to see to it if the schools have provided the regulations and policies on distance learning to protect students' identity and data privacy and provided supplementary materials for distance learning such as subscriptions to online libraries and the procurement of online learning management systems.

In the study of Alea et al. (2020), they found out that most of the respondents are teaching in urban areas, there are still several basic education schools that are not equipped with the facilities, amenities and training to distance learning education during difficult times. Further, they recommended that since the education system is going to avoid face to face interaction, the schools have to play a vital role in this journey of transition since they are the ones who provide training and workshops for the teachers to be equipped with the skills and knowledge in distance learning education. Furthermore, the schools are the ones who plan, implement and evaluate a school activity or program like distance learning education to ensure their success.

COVID-19 pandemic has faced challenges in education during the sudden shift from face-to-face classes to distance learning education. Teachers were aware that the Philippines had declared ECQ due to COVID-19 pandemic as well as the rules and regulations during the ECQ like the social distancing measures, which were strictly observed and implemented in schools and institutions based on observational modeling to alleviate school’s closure (Viner et al., 2020). In the case of China, the “One Stop Learning” was launched during the COVID-19 outbreak which aimed to develop an approach or program about the updates on COVID-19, public health issues, online education announcement, teacher’s preparation, academic research hub and logistic operation to pursue undisrupted learning (Huang, Liu, Tlili, Yang & Wang, 2020).

Today, the DepEd Philippines is slowly providing computers, tablets, and smart boards to schools which are center of excellence or central schools. These innovations are needed for distance learning education and for embracing the trend in education 4.0, which promotes the use of the E-instruction system, enabling learners' autonomy achievement and implementing a task-based and performance-based on a specific learning goal (Chen & Huang, 2018; and Hussin, 2018). With regard to communicating with students, teachers may plan a strategy on how to keep in touch with students like the use of online platforms; however, due to unstable internet connection in rural areas, providing print-based modules will also be useful.

For elementary teachers, it is possible to communicate with their pupils through their parents. However, for students in high schools, teachers may use online platforms since they are tech-savvy using technologies such as email and social media (Uslo, 2018). However, building a positive attitude in doing activities through distance learning should also be taught to students to work at their own pace. The students' activities and homework should also be interactive and suited to the learners to catch their interest (Mascreen, Pai, & Pai, 2012; and Harackiewicz, Smith & Priniski, 2016).

The length of teaching experience affects the readiness to distance learning education since teachers who have taught for several years have more experience dealing with difficult times like the pandemics or natural calamities (Kini & Podolsky, 2016). However, the teachers with more number of years of teaching experience are by default in the older age group and hence are relatively less tech savvy. This group of teachers particularly need more assistance in using the online tools to deliver their lessons. However, teachers who have served for a long time have had the opportunity to attend seminar workshops needed in offering distance learning education. Teachers’ specialization may also affect the teachers' readiness to distance learning education because some specialties under the Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) strand have better experiences in using technological materials used in teaching (Yunus et al., 2017).

Distance learning support provided by the school. This is to determine the varied support from school in terms of the policies to protect data privacy, systems of information dissemination for communicating with both parents and learners, and the technical support systems provided to the teachers. The switch to distance learning, specifically online education, brings with it security and privacy challenges which may cause substantial big data threats that may affect the lives of both the teachers and students (Çubukcu & Akturk, 2020). In September 2020, the Data Privacy Council Education Sector of the Philippines released Advisory No. 2020-1. This contains the guidelines to help teachers, parents, students, and school administrators safely navigate digital spaces. It also provides clear guidance on how to protect data in the conducting of online learning. Notably, the teachers have been receiving policy support in terms of this valuable matter. Considering that school year 2020 - 2021 was the first year when distance learning education was implemented instead of in-school learning, it is important to understand the experience of Filipino teachers when handling distance learning in order to facilitate a better teaching experience in the coming months. Philippine educational institutions have to adapt to this changing landscape since it is inevitable that in the future, schools have to move towards a new kind of educational model that utilizes advanced technologies.

Globally, many studies have focused on the experience of students when dealing with distance learning during the Covid-19 crisis such as in Indonesia (Sutiah et al., 2020), Tanzania (Mahundu, 2020), and the Ukraine (Nenko et al., 2020). Many students have inadequate access to digital learning resources, have a limited reliable and stable internet connection (Nenko et al., 2020), and might not have sufficient resiliency and skills to learn on their own and face the challenges such as being distracted by their surroundings because of the limited hands-on activities (Sutiah et al., 2020). Moreover, while research suggests that online learning helps to increase the retention of information and takes less time (Li & Lalani, 2020). Limited internet access was found to be one of the main reasons why the online teaching-learning process might make it difficult to obtain a quality education (Nenko et al., 2020).

Several studies have also revealed the problems experienced by teachers when handling distance learning classes during the pandemic. For example, in Portugal, teachers have to suddenly adapt to new pedagogies and modes of teaching with only a limited amount of time to be trained in remote instruction (Flores & Gago, 2020). Meanwhile, a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the impact of Covid-19 on education in member countries revealed that both teachers and students have had to rely on their available personal resources to continue learning remotely during the pandemic (Schleicher, 2020).

Considering these challenges, Hodges et al. (2020) stated that several elements must be assessed in order to guarantee the effectiveness of remote learning, including the faculty’s professional development for online teaching pedagogies and the tools, policy, and governance issues connected to distance program development and quality assurance. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the academic idea of when, where, and how to deliver education, the importance of lifelong learning, and the need for learning agility and resilience in times of a crisis.

In the Philippines, a study by Arinto (2016) among the faculty and administrators at the University of the Philippines – Open University revealed that despite the interest and willingness to explore new practices and new directions in Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL), nurturing innovative teaching and learning practices across the institution is still regarded as a challenge. Meanwhile, selected teachers from the Department of Education were found to have a positive attitude to ODeL, with the majority ready for online learning (Ventayen, 2018).

In the study of Alea et al. (2020), they found out that most of the respondents are teaching in urban areas, there are still several basic education schools that are not equipped with the facilities, amenities and training to distance learning education during difficult times. Further, they recommended that since the education system is going to avoid face to face interaction, the schools have to play a vital role in this journey of transition since they are the ones who provide training and workshops for the teachers to be equipped with the skills and knowledge in distance learning education. Furthermore, the schools are the ones who plan, implement and evaluate a school activity or program like distance learning education to ensure their success.

Furthermore, Zee & Koomen, (2016) found out that there is a positive correlation between the teachers’ levels of self-efficacy and the student’s achievements and motivation, as well as the teachers’ well-being. The teachers who have more confidence in their capacity to effectively teach remotely are more likely to create a more productive and high-quality learning environment highlighting the importance of school support in increasing the level of confidence of the teachers and ensuring their wellbeing.

Statement of the Problem

This research determines the factors and determinants of School Support Received and the Challenges Encountered in Distance Learning Education by Elementary School Teachers during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Mandaue City Central School of Mandaue City.

Specifically, this answers the following:

1. What is distance learning support provided by the schools?
2. What are the problems encountered in distance learning education, and
3. What is the support needed in distance learning education?


This section presents the research design, flow of the study, locale of the study, respondents, instrument used, sampling procedure, and data gathering procedure, data analysis, statistical treatment of the data, scoring procedure and definition of terms.


This research is descriptive in nature because it is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the problem to describe “what exists” with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The methods involved range from the survey which describes the status quo, the correlation study which investigates the relationship between variables, to developmental studies which seek to determine changes over time. It will attempt to describe the distance learning support provided by the schools, problems encountered in distance learning education, and support needed in distance learning education. It will also seek to determine the significance of the demographic characteristics of the respondents and the determinants in distance learning education.


Excerpt out of 21 pages


Determinants in Distance Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Distance Education, Pandemic, COVID -19, School Support
Quote paper
MARY ANN SANLAD (Author), 2021, Determinants in Distance Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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