| 253-266 | PDF

Digitalization of Higher Education and Response to Covid-19 Pandemic in Latvia

Linda Daniela, Hasan Selcuk
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. The rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak compelled many university administrators worldwide to take immediate measures to prevent spreading the disease on their campuses. One key measure was to switch from the face-to-face teaching mode to emergency remote teaching through online learning. Even though the swift and unplanned shift to move all courses online has caused several challenges to most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Latvia, such a challenging situation has also created opportunities and opened new perspectives to the understanding of the digitalization of teaching and learning in Latvian HEIs. This paper, therefore, attempted to explore the digitalization process of Latvian HEIs, the response to the Covid-19 crisis by HEIs in Latvia, and the views of students of the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, the University of Latvia on the remote learning process they were exposed to during the academic year of 2020/2021 as well as how formal and informal research classes/modules contributed to the students’ knowledge and attitudes toward the research process during the Covid-19 crisis. The conclusions of this paper were (1) digitalization and increasing study in the virtual environments are changing students’ attitudes towards studies. Therefore, it is expected that HEIs in Latvia will reach their digitalization goals by 2027, (2) it seems that the students and the faculty adapted the remote learning process and strategies were found to support the achievement of study results, learning remotely during the Covid-19 crisis. Even though the students’ responses to their self-assessment of their digital skills were high, they sought to acquire more digital skills during the remote learning mode. (3) Although the students take formal research classes/modules, they require more training and an in-depth understanding of research methodologies.

Keywords: Covid-19, digitalization, higher education, Latvia, research

The report was developed for Erasmus+ project Navigating Social Worlds: Toolbox for Social Inquiry (SocialWorlds), No 2020-1-PL01-KA226-HE-096356 and includes analyses of HE system in Latvia, the response to COVID-19 pandemics and results from two studies conducted at the Faculty of Education Psychology and Art of the University of Latvia.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1