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DOI: https://doi.org/10.46502/issn.1856-7576/2022.16.03.6
Distance education in the conditions of martial law in
institutions of higher education: development and practice
Educación a distancia en las condiciones de la ley marcial en instituciones de
educación superior: desarrollo y práctica
Hanna Marynchenko
anya.marinchenko@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3208-0546
PhD in History, Teacher of History Department, Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, V. О.
Sukhomlynskyi National University of Mykolaiv, Mykolaiv, Ukraine.
Nataliia Nosovets
tala2774@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1536-4870
PhD in Pedagogical Sciences, Head of the Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Methodology
of Technological Education, Faculty of Technology, T. H. Shevchenko National University
«Chernihiv Сolehium», Chernihiv, Ukraine.
Yurii Bezruchenkov
br7920@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0347-1812
PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Business, Educational and
Research Institute of Commerce, Serving Technology and Tourism,
Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University, Poltava, Ukraine.
Yuliia Oliinyk
yulchonok78@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3214-0422
PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Hygiene and Ecology № 1, Kharkiv National Medical
University, Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Svitlana Bykova
byikovas@ukr.net
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9730-776X
PhD of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Political Sciences,
Psychology and Law, Odessa National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Odessa,
Ukraine.
Recibido: 13/05/22
Aceptado: 27/08/22
Abstract
The aim of the article is to establish the peculiarities of existing obstacles and promising
directions of online education system d evelopment in the context of military conflicts of
the present. The research is based on the results of the study of scientific literature in the
field of online education during war and the study of practical aspects of this issue. The
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analytical and bibliographic method was used to conduct the study by studying the
scientific literature on the issues of online education in higher education during martial
law. An online questionnaire survey of the heads of departments of higher education
institutions working with students during military conflicts in the territory of the HEIs was
also used. As the heads of departments of higher education noted in their responses, the
main obstacles to the development of online education are the lack of development and
implementation of educational online platforms, the low rate and quality of creation or
adaptation of information technology and e-learning tools.
The participants of the survey identified promising areas of development of online learning
in higher education during military operations: updating of software and hardware,
providing higher education institutions with quality Internet access and distance learning,
taking into account current trends in information and educational technologies.
Key words: online education, learning process during military conflicts, obstacles to
online education, perspectives on online education, education during wartime, learning
process in higher education institutions.
Resumen
La tarea de organizar el proceso educativo en línea no es nueva para la sociedad actual,
pero la necesidad de un aprendizaje en línea efectivo tiene más sentido y se vuelve
especialmente relevante para los países que se encuentran en una zona de conflicto
militar u ocupación relacionada. Bajo la ley marcial, la comunidad educativa está
particularmente preocupada por la adecuada organización de la instrucción y la calidad
de la educación. Esto incluye un apoyo integral para todos los participantes en el proceso
educativo, dado que la capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades humanas básicas,
incluso en un nivel elemental, se ve interrumpida en particular por factores externos.
Estos factores están relacionados con la imprevisibilidad de los factores de seguridad
debido al agravamiento de la política de relaciones interestatales (Olugbenga, 2020).
Garantizar el derecho de los niños y jóvenes a la educación en el contexto de la guerra
se convierte en un desafío tanto para los educadores como para la sociedad. como un
todo. Un aspecto importante del estudio de este tema es determinar las perspectivas
para el desarrollo del soporte de información, la calidad del contenido digital y los
recursos educativos para su uso en el aprendizaje a distancia durante la guerra. El
objetivo del artículo es establecer las peculiaridades de los obstáculos existentes y las
direcciones prometedoras del desarrollo del sistema de educación en línea en el contexto
de los conflictos militares del presente. La investigación se basa en los resultados del
estudio de la literatura científica en el campo de la educación en línea durante la guerra
y el estudio de los aspectos prácticos de este tema. Se utilizó el método analítico y
bibliográfico para realizar el estudio mediante el estudio de la literatura científica sobre
los temas de la educación en línea en la educación superior durante la ley marcial.
También se utilizó una encuesta de cuestionario en línea de los jefes de departamentos
de instituciones de educación superior que trabajan con estudiantes durante conflictos
militares en el territorio de las IES. De acuerdo con los resultados del trabajo, se
analizaron los principales tipos de obstáculos y se delinearon las posibles perspectivas
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para el desarrollo de la educación en nea en las instituciones de educación superior que
operan durante los conflictos militares.
Palabras clave: educación en línea, proceso de aprendizaje durante conflictos militares,
obstáculos a la educación en línea, perspectivas de la educación en línea, educación en
tiempo de guerra, proceso de aprendizaje en instituciones de educación superior.
1. Introduction
Society is experiencing a profound social crisis in a country where military conflict is taking
place. Military actions force civilians to leave their homes and property and flee to
peaceful regions.
Not only does higher education not lose its significance for residents of the territories
where military operations are taking place, but it also makes the issue more relevant,
since it is a prerequisite for successful employment in the future.
The task of organizing the educational process online is not new to society today, but the
need for effective online learning makes more sense and becomes especially relevant for
countries that find themselves in a zone of military conflict or related occupation. Under
martial law, the educational community is particularly concerned with the proper
organization of instruction and the quality of education. This includes comprehensive
support for all participants in the educational process, given that the ability to provide
basic human needs, even at an elementary level, is disrupted in particular by external
factors. These factors are related to the unpredictability of security factors due to the
aggravation of the politics of inter-state relations. Ensuring the right of children and youth
to education in the context of warfare becomes a challenge for both educators and society
as a whole. An important aspect of the study of this issue is to determine the prospects
for the development of information support, the quality of digital content and educational
resources for use in distance learning during the war.
It is worth noting that online learning has already become commonplace all over the world.
It became possible due to the partial transfer of secondary and higher education to this
format in 2020, the year of the widespread coronavirus infection COVID-19 and the
threatening epidemiological situation. Distance learning has become an affordable way
for students to get a quality higher education (Shehab & Khalifa, 2021).
Therefore, at the present stage of society development there is an urgent need to create
and develop a clear system of distance online education, the results of which are officially
confirmed by diplomas and certificates of state standard. The development of online
distance education for young people and adults is a prerequisite for the sustainable
development of society around the world.
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The theoretical part of this research presents the views of scholars on the advantages of
online learning in HEIs, the challenges of this type of educational process organization
related to military conflicts, possible reasons for the suspension of the educational
process during military operations, the peculiarities of the training organization in the
online system.
The practical part of the paper includes an assessment of the success criteria of online
education in higher education institutions, the features of the educational process, which
should be taken into account when planning prospective directions of development of
online education in wartime. In addition, it shows the main aspects of online education
that are given insufficient attention in higher education institutions in wartime regions,
obstacles to the development of online education, as well as promising areas of
development of online education in higher education during wartime.
The research found that most of the criteria for the quality of the educational process
relate to the issue of the educational process safety as well as providing access to high-
speed Internet and equipment that supports the appropriate technical requirements for
acquiring/transferring information. In addition, the study has demonstrated that when
planning the educational process development in the online system, one should primarily
take into account the qualification of personnel, compliance with additional security
measures and regime restrictions, as well as specific requirements in the field of
education. The results of the analysis revealed that insufficient attention is paid to such
aspects of online education as monitoring the safety situation in the work of educational
institutions and training of educational managers regarding actions in case of danger
alongside educational and informational activities on online provision of educational
process during military operations.
The aim of the study is to determine the position of the heads of departments of higher
education institutions working with students in higher education concerning the
particularities of online learning, namely to establish the advantages and promising
directions of online education during military conflicts in the country where the educational
process is organized.
Based on the results of this analysis, the problems associated with the implementation of
new strategies for teaching students during the war are highlighted.
2. Literature review
Despite the obvious advantages of online learning in higher education institutions, the
introduction of the educational process in electronic format involves solving a number of
issues for both students and for academic staff of educational institutions (Riera Guasp,
Ardid, Vidaurre & Dueñas, 2018), (Rajab, 2018).
For academic staff, the real challenge of online learning was the significant increase in
the time required to provide a quality learning process. In particular, the time for preparing
Hanna Marynchenko, Nataliia Nosovets, Yurii Bezruchenkov, Yuliia Oliinyk, Svitlana Bykova
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lecture classes, checking homework, and maintaining electronic and hardcopy records of
attendance and success of education applicants has doubled (Ali, Khalil & El-Sharkawy,
2020).
The major reasons for the suspension of the educational process during warfare are
considered to be the lack of a clear plan of action for the use of online learning for all
participants in the educational process and the lack of adequate facilities of institutions of
higher education that could ensure the proper quality of online education (O'Doherty,
Dromey, Lougheed, Hannigan, Last & McGrath, 2018), (Nikadambaeva, 2020), (Morin,
2020).
Considering the challenges of online learning organization, scientists pay attention to the
issues of qualified support of the student by the educator or other authorized persons
during online learning. Such qualified support should begin at the stage of searching for
proposals of distance learning programs and accompany the student during the entire
learning process (Langegard, Kiani, Nielsen & Svensson, 2021)
However, a review of the literature on the development of online education in times of war
has shown that the issue of developing special strategies for working with higher
education applicants during military conflicts remains unresolved. This is due to the lack
of specialized software and information developments for working with students that take
into account the specifics of receiving education specifically during military conflict (during
its exacerbation especially) in the territory where the educational institution or students
studying at such institutions are located.
3. Materials and methods
A case study of obstacles and prospects of online education in contemporary military
conflicts in higher education institutions was conducted by interviewing 812 people,
namely heads of departments of higher education institutions in Zhytomyr, Lviv, Kyiv and
Ternopil regions of Ukraine. The survey was organized by means of a questionnaire
survey through the Alchemer service.
In the survey, respondents were asked a series of questions about the major aspects of
the use of online education strategies in wartime. Survey participants were asked to
express their position on each question as a percentage between 0 and 100%.
4. Results and Discussion
An essential part of the research questions concerned ascertaining the primary success
criteria for online learning in higher education institutions (Figure 1):
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Figure 1. Criteria for the success assessment of online learning in higher education
institutions
Source: built by the authors.
As shown in Figure 1, most of the quality criteria for the educational process relate to the
issue of providing access to high-speed Internet and equipment that supports the relevant
technical requirements for obtaining/transferring information, as well as to the security of
the educational process.
When organizing the online education process in higher education, the following features
of wartime educational activities should be taken into account, according to the
respondents:
Figure 2. Features of the educational process that need to be taken into account when
planning the future direction of online education in wartime, %
Source: built by the authors.
Hanna Marynchenko, Nataliia Nosovets, Yurii Bezruchenkov, Yuliia Oliinyk, Svitlana Bykova
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Respondents believe that when planning the development of the educational process in
an online system, staff development, additional security measures and regime restrictions
as well as specific requirements in the field of education should be taken into account
first.
The analysis has identified the following critical aspects of online education that are
insufficiently addressed in HEIs in war zones, according to respondents (Figure 3):
Figure 3. Critical aspects of online education that have not been sufficiently addressed
by higher education institutions in war zones, %
Source: built by the authors.
monitoring the safety situation of educational institutions and training educational
managers on actions to be taken in the event of danger;
implementing measures to prevent the shelling of educational institutions and
ensuring their rehabilitation at the expense of state and local budgets;
education and information activities on online education during wartime.
As the heads of higher education departments pointed out in their responses, the main
obstacles to the development of online education are (Figure 4):
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Figure 4. Key obstacles in the development of online education, %
Source: built by the authors.
lack of development and dissemination of online educational platforms with intuitive,
user-friendly software;
low pace and creating quality or adaptation of information technology and e-learning
tools.
Survey participants identified the following forward-looking areas for the development of
online learning in higher education during wartime:
Figure 5. Perspectives on the development of online learning in higher education during
wartime, %
Source: built by the authors.
Hanna Marynchenko, Nataliia Nosovets, Yurii Bezruchenkov, Yuliia Oliinyk, Svitlana Bykova
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upgrading the software and hardware facilities of HEIs to incorporate new
technologies in higher education;
providing higher education institutions with quality Internet access;
distance learning based on current trends in the development of information and
education technology.
In the most difficult time for society as a whole and for the education system, which is the
period of military conflict, educators mobilize and exhibit a high level of professionalism
to provide online learning (Gao, 2021).
Experience shows that, as a rule, humanitarian headquarters and accommodation
facilities for internally displaced persons have been established on the basis of
educational institutions and, at