Examining the Views of Preservice Teachers about Online Science Education during the Covid-19 Lockdown: Expectations, Opportunities, Threats, Motivations, and Beliefs
Keywords:Online science education, distance education, Covid-19 pandemic, preservice science teachers
Switching from face-to-face learning to mandatory online education during the coronavirus pandemic brought much uncertainty and new experiences for undergraduate students who were unfamiliar with that type of learning. This research aimed to identify perceptions and experiences of preservice [PST] teachers about taking science courses online in the teacher education programs during the Covid-19 lockdown. 180 PSTs voluntarily participated in this study from three public universities located in different regions of Turkey. These PSTs enrolled in seven different science and science education courses, including Science, Technology, and Society - Science Teaching Methods, Introduction to Science, Science and Technology Teaching, Radiation and Health Physics, Science Curriculum, Application of Science in Technology. The data was collected via online questionnaires, which were applied before and after online learning and analyzed via deductive and inductive content analysis. As a result, we identified six different categories, representing their perspectives, including concerns, expectations, opportunities, threats, motivation/interests, and beliefs. In each category, PSTs’ responses were given with different codes, which were gathered under sub-categories. The results indicated that initially, PSTs had many expectations/opportunities, concerns, and beliefs toward the online education process. While some of these expectations,
beliefs, and opportunities were fulfilled during the online learning process, some fundamental issues caused various obstacles in this process as well.