Distance learning as both a crisis and window of opportunity in student’s perception at Siberian universities


2021, Vol. 5. № 2 (16)

Distance learning as both a crisis and window of opportunity in student’s perception at Siberian universities

For citation: Trufanov D. O., Savochkin D. V., Maltseva A. D., Marchenko T. A. 2021. “Distance learning as both a crisis and window of opportunity in student’s perception at Siberian universities”. Siberian Socium, vol. 5, no. 2 (16), pp. 29-45. DOI: 10.21684/2587-8484-2021-5-2-29-45

About the authors:

Dmitry O. Trufanov, Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Head of the Sociology Department, Institute of Education, Psychology and Sociology, Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation); Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Socio-Economic Disciplines, Siberian Fire and Rescue Academy of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia (Zheleznogorsk, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0002-5946-7479; WoS ResearcherID: AAJ-6463-2020dtrufanov@sfu-kras.ru

Dmitry V. Savochkin, Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Head of the Department of Humanitarian and Socio-Economic Disciplines, Siberian Fire and Rescue Academy of EMERCOM of Russia (Zheleznogorsk, Russian Federation); gsed@sibpsa.ru

Alina D. Maltseva, Student, Sociology Department, Institute of Education, Psychology and Sociology, Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation); alymalt2000@mail.ru

Tatyana A. Marchenko, Student of “Fire Safety”, Siberian Fire and Rescue Academy of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia (Zheleznogorsk, Russian Federation); tatyana.marchenko2000@gmail.com


The relevance of the topic is related to the need of understanding the positive and negative effects of universities transitioning to distance learning. They should be taken into account in the management of the process of digitalization of education. The aim of this article is to study the perception of students of Siberian universities of the transition to distance learning in 2020. The novelty of our approach to the study of this problem is the use of theoretical premises of the phenomenological paradigm and the ethnomethodological approach. This approach allows revealing the representations of distance learning in the personal reality of students as participants in the educational process. The research method is a semi-formalized in-depth interview. This study involved full-time 2nd-4th year students of three universities of the Krasnoyarsk Region. A total of 24 interviews were conducted. The results show that the majority of students perceived the emergency transition to distance learning as a crisis. The conditions of distance learning came into conflict with the subjective meanings and expectations of students in relation to the educational process. Students express negative assessments of the abrupt transition to distance learning, talk about a decrease in educational motivation, a sense of social deprivation after switching to distance learning. The respondents’ answers indicate the experience of anomie, the blurring of student identity, and the sense of losing the meaning of the educational process. Students with an increased level of subjectivity in educational activities more positively perceived the transition to distance learning and saw in it new opportunities for self-development. They have a higher level of internal motivation to achieve personal educational results, and are able to effectively organize their activities in the context of distance learning. In the course of distance learning, most students have become accustomed to this format: there has been a restructuring of everyday practices, the formation of new dispositions that organize educational activities. Despite this, all respondents consider distance learning as an auxiliary format that complements the traditional classroom form of organizing the educational process. This indicates that at present, digital learning technologies are poorly integrated into the system of higher education, which, according to the authors, has become the main factor in students’ experience of the transition to distance learning as a crisis phenomenon.


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