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Abstract

Abstract

The sudden outbreak of the coronavirus and the consequent precautionary measures has compelled education systems worldwide to find alternatives to physical teaching-learning process. While online education is perhaps a ‘blessing in disguise’ in many ways, it has also exposed various challenges especially in the rural areas where people are struggling to get proper bandwidth and even uninterrupted electric supply. The lack of technological infrastructure has made it difficult for many students to adapt to learning in the new normal. Given to the situation, the aim of this study was to investigate the availability and use of technology for online education by undergraduate students of a college situated in rural India. A Survey was carried out to collect the required data and responses from students of the college under study were sought through a structured questionnaire. Out of 1788 students, 678 responded to the survey which formed the data sets for the study. The findings revealed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Information and Communication Technology was used infrequently, however after the outbreak of the coronavirus following the shutdown of educational institutions, the situation changed dramatically and majority of students started using the technology on a daily basis to cope with need of the hour. The unprecedented situation brought numerous challenges to the fore and technological issues and limitations among others were frequently experienced by the students. Based on the findings suggestions are provided to enhance the efficacy and accessibility of technology supported education post COVID-19 pandemic.

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