Waikato Journal of Education
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Keywords

COVID-19
Solomon Islands.
Tokstori
Pacific Islands

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the experiences of Solomon Islands students during the shift to online, remote teaching during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It utilises the tokstori to collect data from 16 Solomon Islands students of the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Suva and Honiara campuses. It is framed and analysed data using Khan’s eight dimensions of gauging successful e-learning experiences. Prior to COVID-19, many of the courses at the USP were offered in blended mode, which encompasses both online and face-to-face delivery. However, with a sudden move to fully online offerings, and the associated fears resulting from the unknowns of COVID-19, this was disruptive and traumatic for many students. However, analysis identified several key factors aiding student success including many Solomon Islands students being able to eventually cope with the disruption and displayed independence and resilience. It is also found that Solomon Island students got to experience new applications and tools such as, for example, having to be in Zoom or having to sit an online exam. This study has potential to inform higher education institutes (HEIs) in the Pacific Islands and beyond, and the need to carefully navigate the practical realities of the islands in the interaction between digital technologies, instructors and students to facilitate online learning post-pandemic.

https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v26i1.768
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