Covid-19 as a Black Swan. University Education Adaptation to Online Learning in the Second Wave of the Coronavirus Pandemic from the Perspective of Students and Academic

Ondřej Roubal


In 2020 and 2021, modern society faced a historically unprecedented situation in the field of education. Education systems worldwide underwent a massive transformation from conventional forms of face-to-face learning to distance learning alternatives. This forced transformation of teaching, triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, has been a major test of resilience and adaptability for universities and other academic institutions. This emergency situation, and the way it was handled, was the subject of empirical study by the University of Finance and Administration in the form of a questionnaire-based survey focused concurrently on students and academics during the 2020/2021 academic year, during what has been referred to as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. We observed the attitudes of students and academics, then broke these down to greater levels of detail through mutual confrontation in the areas of evaluating the quality of online education, the decreasing or increasing levels of interest in courses, the level of communication skills of educators, or their availability during online office hours. We also explored the key question of the role and significance of the absence of physical interactions that characterizes distance learning. The empirical data point to ambivalence in the perceptions of online learning in both populations studied. While, on the one hand, there are clear collective expressions of confidence in the communication skills of educators, partly in the overall quality of the online instruction they provide and partly in their willingness to continue to enhance it in subsequent semesters, on the other hand, the expectations of students were not fully met in certain subjects, which was marked by a palpable decline in interest. One criterion that was critical for the emotional acceptance of online learning is the absence of physical interaction and presence in the school environment. It would therefore appear that the ideal model for future education is a combination of full-time and distance learning that would combine their respective benefits, while eliminating their perceived shortcomings.


Academics. Ambivalence. COVID-19. Education. Online Learning. Questionnaire Survey. Students. University.