Challenges and Benefits of Web 2.0-based Learning among International Students of English during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Cyprus
Keywords: Covid-19, Cyprus, ESL learners, international students, learning culture, Web 2.0
There has been an increased reliance on Web-based learning, particularly in higher learning institutions, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. However, learners require knowledge and skills on how to use Web 2.0-based learning tools. Thus, there is a need to focus on how Web-based tools can be used to enhance learning outcomes. Therefore, this study aims to explore the challenges and benefits of Web 2.0-based learning among international students of English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus during the Covid-19 pandemic. The data were collected from a purposive sample of 15 ESL learners at EMU using focus group interviews. The interview data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. The findings showed that challenges faced by international students of English at EMU during the Covid-19 pandemic include inadequate knowledge of technology and technical issues such as poor internet connectivity, inability to upload large files, and loss of password. Additionally, the findings showed that Web 2.0 technologies can help the students to enhance collaborative learning, independent learning, flexible learning, as well as competence in using technology for learning purposes. It was envisaged that this study would be beneficial to the management of higher learning institutions, educationists, and students in general. However, this study is limited to international ESL students at EMU with a few participants. To provide generalizable outcomes, further studies may adopt a quantitative or mixed-method approach.