Tác giả :


Trang DTM, Thuyen NV, Quoc HA, Giang NTL, Nhon TD, Ha LM, (1)
Nga VT (1), Sanna Ruhalahti, Irma Kunnari (2)
(1) Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education, Vietnam.
(2) HAMK Hame University of Applied Sciences, Finland. 



Corona pandemic has a strong influence on almost all fields all over the world, especially in education. In Vietnam, in the case study of the University of Technology and Education Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUTE), most of the lecturers being responsible for theoretical subjects are required to teach their students online during the outbreak of COVID 19. It is a crucial issue that needs efficiency from online learning. This study aims to evaluate the status and efficiency of online learning at HCMUTE. Altogether 108 students and 25 lecturers participated in the study. The qualitative data collection tool was a questionnaire that has open and closed questions related to the learning environment, the interaction between student-lecturer; student-content; student-student, and satisfaction. The results show that there is a synchronous learning environment and plenty of digital tools used by most lecturers. About 74 percent of students are satisfied and keen on continuing online learning; a large number of lecturers would like to continue with blended learning. Besides, the study also found out some difficulties that focus on two main issues such as technical issues, and decreasing students’ activeness during online classes. The study also recommends three leaning activities design stages that the lecturers can apply for their online teaching to encourage students to active learning. 

Keywords: Education 4.0; online teaching; E-learning; online learning; LMS;  higher education; 

Human has suffered from a period of crisis in which many activities are disrupted because of the outbreak of COVID 19. The pandemic has impacted on all fields all over the world, especially in education. In Viet Nam, all of the universities were closed; people kept their social distance and carried out epidemic prevention solutions seriously. Therefore, the universities have had online courses instead of traditional courses (face to face courses). The online courses have been considered not only as an efficient solution to assure students’ learning schedule but also a chance that pushes lecturers to change their teaching methods and discover more about online teaching to keep up with education 4.0. 

Education 4.0 has become a popular alternative to traditional education. It has been a certain change to respond to the development of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Gottfried Vossen (International Scientific Conference, 2017) shows that there is an application of digital technology such as the Internet, teleconferencing, virtual realities, software, etc. in training that helps teaching and learning activities take place everywhere, every time and the students have opportunities to reach advanced technology in Education 4.0. Also, researchers find that online learning or blended learning can obtain good learning outcomes and develop collaboration and self-directed learning skills (Jaemjan Sriarunrasmee et al., 2015; Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J., 2013; David D. Curtis, 2001). However, it requires different preparation, infrastructure, technical support, and pedagogical design from traditional courses (Barber, Donnelly, Rizvi, & Summers, 2013; Ruhalahti, 2019). For that reason, to catch the trend of education 4.0, Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education (HCMUTE) has had many workshops that aim to encourages and changes of lecturers’ mindset such as E/M learning 2013; E-Learning trends for 2014; The Industrial revolution 4.0 and switch of Higher education 2017. HCMUTE also established a digital learning center, which has functions such as set up, organizes online courses and support lectures to build an online course or make a video, webinar, etc., in 2015. Additionally, HCMUTE has built the virtual university (named UTEx) in 2019 and has had many policies and pedagogical guidelines (?) to engage lecturers with online courses. Although HCMUTE’s preparation for online courses is quite early, there are only about 40% of lecturers combined with face-to-face courses every academic year. Thus, the Corona pandemic really is a trigger for all of the lecturers who were asked to have online courses completely. Besides being aware of the necessity of change as well as the advantages of online learning during the breakout of COVID 19, the lecturers also got lots of challenges designing online courses because several lecturers were not familiar with or lack experience in online teaching. This has raised a key challenge question about the effect of online courses.

Online course evaluation is one of the essential education components to improve the quality of online teaching and learning. But, research on the effectiveness of online courses is limited in HCMUTE. More research is needed to have a general online courses picture during 9 weeks in the pandemic. As a result, this study objective is to evaluate the status of online teaching and learning, then recommend appropriate solutions in order to upgrade the efficiency of online courses. The findings will be beneficial to HCMUTE in future online learning development.


Research Model
In education, there are three crucial educational factors which set up learning processes: interactive relationships, learning and teaching activities, and (online) learning environment. The online courses have many differences from traditional classrooms, key differences are focused on the learning environment and learning approaches, so these will lead to differences of teaching approaches (A.Y.K. Chan, K.O. Chow, and W. Jia, 2003). It will be described in three parts below.

Online learning environment
The online courses have applications of digital technology, an online learning environment is considered as a Web-based platform (Cook, David, 2007; Demian, Peter; Morrice, James, 2015).  It supports different types of environments such as synchronous, asynchronous, or both. Synchronous learning is the kind of learning that can use a live chatting room, a live video conference (Webinar) where instructors and students interact with each other in real-time and there is an immediate response from the instructor for students’ questions as well. In contrast, asynchronous learning is supported to be suitable for learner’s schedules, instructors will provide e-materials for reading, e-lectures, or videos for viewing, assignments for completing while the students can be offline. Asynchronous learning is with students’ self-spaced learning. (Park, S.,2016).  It can be realized that lecturers design online teaching based on the support of many digital tools. With online courses, student and instructor communication are via information and communication technologies (ICT). Tsai & Tsai, (2003) indicate that students with high ICT skills have better information searching skills and learn better than others. Besides that, Lim (2001) shows that Internet experience has a positive correlation with student’s satisfaction. These reveal the ICT skills are necessary for both lecturers and students, and they need to have good technology support to conduct learning and teaching activities.

Online learning activities 
There is a lack of face to face contact in the online environment, and personalized learning is required. Therefore, students need to plan their own learning and take more responsibility for their learning. Whether online learning or offline learning, the nature of learning is self-directed study, learners must build their own knowledge. With online learning, according to Alex Koohang (2009), students focus on three major activities: individual learning activities, collaborative learning activities, and assessment. Hence, it is essential that students need to have self- directed study skills, the ability to create self-motivation, communication skills, self-assessment skills, reflecting skills to succeed with online learning.

Online teaching activities
Lecturers have direct and important influences on the student’s learning experience. Because of the difference in the online learning environment, the instructors are required to have appropriate competences. Dennis et al. (2004) show that the key competencies which lecturers need to have with online courses are pedagogy, communication, discipline expertise, and technology. Regarding online teaching, Salmon (2003) describes online lecturer’s competences into five categories: understanding the online process; technical skills, online communication skills, content expertise, and personal characteristics. Similarly, Chantal Roddy et al. (2017) reveal that some of the most important online lecturer competencies such as communication skills; technological competence; provision of informative feedback; administrative skills; responsiveness; monitoring learning; providing student support (Chantal Roddy et al., 2017). As a whole, these competencies are focused on factors: pedagogy, technology, communication, and personality. Besides that, the lecturer also plays multiple roles and responsibilities of teaching online such as facilitator, technologist, administrator, designer, etc. Overall, every instructional design of online learning always aims at encouraging students to have online learning activities. Hence, lecturers not only must pay attention to what they need to design, develop, and manage their online courses but also focus on communicating with students effectively and interaction (Fatimah A Albrahim, Ph.D, 2020). So, a successful online lecturer has to facilitate students’ active communication, interaction, collaboration, and engagement. (Palloff & Pratt, 2011).

Interaction is necessary for both traditional education and Education 4.0. Moore (1993) shows that there are three key types of interaction, they are student-content interaction; student-instructor interaction; student-student interaction. Hansen (1996) added a new element of the interaction is the interaction of both the lecturers and students with interface in the online environment. Lack of interaction is a reason for dissatisfaction (Cole, M. T., Shelley, D. J., & Swartz, L. B, 2014). Also, Strachota (2003) points out the interaction involved in students’ satisfaction in which student-content interaction has? is more impact than student-instructor and student-technology interaction. This is obvious because any student always wants to understand, manipulate, and develop the content they have learned.

Students satisfaction 
Satisfaction is an important psychological feature of success and is also considered as an intermediate outcome of the learning process. Satisfaction has a positive impact on learning motivation, so, in addition to the achieved objectives, it is also necessary to get the student's satisfaction. With student-lecturer interaction, the lecturer is the main factor in student satisfaction. Student satisfaction is positively correlated with lecturers' specific instructions and feedback to learners must be quick. With learner-technology interaction, students’ satisfaction is affected by Internet access. Moreover, information is presented clearly with an attractive design, easily when reading, and downloading documents does not take up a lot of time, which has a positive impact on student satisfaction. The interaction between students is satisfied by tools to support interacting, discussing with the group that is made easy, and have immediate feedback. (Doris u. Bolliger & Trey Martindale, 2004). 

With the analyzed foundation, this study defined a research model:

Data collection and Methodology
The online (?) questionnaire was designed in the light of background theories that illuminate the research questions. These were used to form questions to inquire about phenomena, understanding and experiences during the online learning process. The questionnaire included xx multiple-choice questions about ……….  and used online applications, as well as their experiences related to such use. In addition, xx open-ended questions were used to inquire into the challenges(?) experienced by the students during the online learning process. The students (or participants) were asked to comment ….

There are always three key elements: online learning activities, online teaching activities, and an online learning environment that they interact together. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the status of online courses and the advantages and disadvantages of online learning and teaching in HCMUTE. Therefore, data would be collected to focus on answering the research questions below.

Research questions 
1. How is the interaction between learner-learner; learner-content; learner-teacher in online courses?
2. Is it good at supporting technologies?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of students and instructors with online courses?
4. Is there student’s satisfaction with online courses in HCMUTE?

The study was conducted by basing on the defined model and the research questions. So, a questionnaire was designed with opened questions and closed questions with 5 levels Likert scale that includes five categories:

Table 1: 

The participants of the study were xx degree(?) students (xx females and xx males) in the age range of over xx years and under xx. Anything else?? This description can be moved to the data collection chapter, then add “participants” to the title.

The collected data from a structured interview of twenty-five lecturers and one hundred and eight students at HCMUTE. The samples who were chosen by convenience understood the research purpose and shared voluntarily about online learning and teaching. The participants have received the questionnaire by email and answered the whole questions related to the status of online learning and teaching, and online courses' advantages and disadvantages. 

The collected questionnaire was checked for reliability and then data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and qualitative methods.


Describe and Analysis of the learning environment
Exploring the online learning environment, the study shows that online courses were designed by basing on LMS (Learning manage system) platform (with Moodle) and FHQ-LMS platform (with Dashboard). The lecturers have used the learning environment; and digital tools in online courses such as synchronous, asynchronous; and video, chat group, Zoom, Google meet, Zalo, Facebook, etc. Also, students have used Personal Computer (PC), Laptop, Ipad, Smartphone, and computer at an internet shop. These results are described in the following charts (Fig2, Fig.3, Fig.4):



Fig.2: The percent of students using e-equipment to access the online courses
(Resource: Quality Assurance Office, HCMUTE)


Fig.3: The percent of lecturers using online learning environment

Fig.4: The percent of lecturers using e-equipment to teach with the online courses
(Resource: Quality Assurance Office, HCMUTE)

The above results show that there are a variety of digital tools and conditions to support learning for online teaching and learning at HCMUTE.

Regarding technology support, a large number of students agreed that lecturers have an attractive and clear lecture design, which helps them to get information easily and be more interested in learning. Students also revealed that it is not difficult to access the classroom as well as download documents, however, they sometimes get out during class hours because of transmission problems. It is easy to understand that some students stay in their home country where is very far from the center has low Wifi speed, so they are hard to get live classes. Additionally, another reason is a few lecturers use the free version of Zoom so it is occasionally unstable of transmission quality. 

These results are described statistically as the chart below:



Fig.5: The percent of students evaluating technology supporting with 5 levels

It can be realized that there is still 13% of students do not understand the lesson completely (from 50% or less of content) and 44,4% of students can only understand two-thirds of the lesson content. For this problem, students explained that there are some reasons: First, students cannot focus on online lessons because there is a lack of separate study space at home, or because of studying at the internet shop where there are many people make noise. Second, students are sometimes disconnected due to the quality of Wifi transmission so they cannot listen to the lecturers continuously. Third, students rarely discuss with teachers and group members in the live class. This is also admitted by lecturers that only a small number of students often ask questions, the rest do not. Moreover, lectures also rarely create groups for students to work during the live class. Students also feel that there is indirect interaction, and passive habits, afraid to ask questions for lecturers Additionally, students just prepared computers and wait for the coming class hours, they hardly prepare materials before class. So, these have led to students not understanding the lesson.

The analysis of learner – lecturer interaction
Regarding the learner-instructor interaction, most students who were asked about the guidance, feedback, and response time of teachers for their learning activities chose level 4, level 5. Students shared that lecturers have specific instructions, feedback within a week, and detailed comments through live classes or digital tools such as Chatbox, Gmail, Zalo, or Facebook. The results show that there is a quite good interaction between learner and instructor. 

These results are described as the following chart:



Fig.6: The percent of students evaluating lecturer’s activities


The analysis of learner – learner interaction

Students revealed that they often join group activities after classes by using tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Messenger, Facebook, Zalo, Kanban, Trello, etc. They can connect with others easily, and it is clear that the technology ability of students is good. However, there are still some students who are passive in their group activities just want to do to cope with lecturers’ requirement.

The analysis of learner and lecturer satisfaction

Evaluation of students’ satisfaction, the results is described as the following chart:



Fig.6: The percent of students satisfying with online courses 

From the chart of Fig.6 and above analyzed interactions between: Lecturer-Student-Content-Technology show that most students are satisfied with their online class. The lecturers also agree with this idea. They both have the same desire to continue with online learning, specifically with blended learning.

The students shared that they have had a positive feeling when studying online because they felt like being taken care of, being learned individually with lecturers. Also, students can listen to other student opinions clearly, ask questions with less embarrassing via digital tools, so these make them more interested in learning online. It is easy to realize that this new point has met the psychological element that everyone always wants to be noticed and express themselves, so these have created a good feeling for students. This result can be considered the first step of success, especially that is of students' feelings. Because when there are positive emotions and attitudes, it will lead to a positive learning action. However, this positive emotion and attitude are lessened by the difficulties that both teachers and students focus on two main issues:

- First, it is a technology issue: low Wifi transmission; low Audio and Video supporting; some technical problems such as failure to create groups, share screen, share video, etc.  
- Second, it is the lack of paying attention to the lesson or active learning of students. Students are interested in learning online but a concentration and active learning hardly are maintained during the online class. This makes students feel passive, bored, and hard to understand the lesson.

It can be realized that the difficulties that are overcome will improve the quality of online learning and teaching. Regarding the technological issue, HCMUTE has also been investing in online learning and teaching: upgrading the Wifi transmission, promoting the functions of the digital learning center, investing in the lighting room, etc. It is also necessary for lecturers to be more proactive to improve information technology skills to make good use of digital tools. However, the more important thing is the pedagogical factor, so teachers have to redesign the lectures and have good learning scaffolding, encourage students to study actively.

Regarding active online learning, Koohang, A., Smith, T., Yerby, J., & Floyd, K. (2012) found that to engage students in active learning, learning has to be conducted with three stages that lecturers can be apply for their teaching: 

- The first stage is to build a learning base, it is a stage that lecturer plays crucial roles in designing learning activities. This phase begins the learning process and builds the foundation for knowledge construction that forces learners to become active learners. For this reason, lecturers have to create learning activities that implicate exploration, higher-order thinking skills and scaffolding. 
- The second is an ownership stage. This stage encourages students to own their learning. Empowering students to be more confident and be able to control their learning. 
- The third is an engaging stage that follows the ownership stage. The lecturers engage the students in giving their opinion, analysis, synthesis, evaluation of multiple perspective, and students collaboratively assessing each other.

The study has assessed the status, advantages, and disadvantages of online courses. Online learning and teaching are rated as effective solutions during the epidemic season at HCMUTE when the results show that students’ satisfaction is high. To online learning and teaching more effectively, lecturers need to be better prepared in terms of technology, especially in terms of pedagogy and collaboration.

This study is a part of EMVITET, ERASMUS+ project. We would like to express our thanks to European facilitators and experts in HAMK - Hame University of Applied Sciences, Finland who always support us when we conduct the case study.

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