Emergency Distance Education (EDE), Urgent Transition to Distance Learning from the Perspective of UAE University Teachers.
Education systems around the world are facing an unprecedented challenge of mass university closures, mandated as part of public health efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. This research attempts to analyze this sudden and urgent transition to Distance Learning, which was a new experience for 93.9% of UAE university teachers. We have called this urgent situation “Emergency Distance Education”, to which we have given a definition in this paper. A survey was conducted among 240 teachers to express their opinion on this new way of teaching, what were their main challenges? did they provide theoretical courses in the same way as practical courses? and what do they suggest as future solutions for best practices in Distance Learning?
As result, we found three categories of challenges raised by the respondents, namely: Pedagogical, Technical and Interaction problems. The results of this study show that the greatest number of teachers were suddenly transferred to Distance Education without having previous experience. And the most notable suggestion made by more than 60% of teachers, and which could be an open path to a new field of study, is that the measure of a credit hour in Distance Education compared to that in face-to-face must be reviewed.
Keywords - Distance Learning – Covid-19 – Transition - Emergency Distance Education.