The study aims at investigating the STEM faculty members’ perspectives and challenges towards distance learning and virtual classes during COVID-19 outbreak. The results are compared with those of non-STEM faculty members from the same institution. Data collection was performed at the United Arab Emirates University in view of four demographic independent variables: Faculty Gender, Experience, Academic Rank, and Academic Track. The researchers adopted and implemented a questionnaire where its validity and reliability for collecting data have been verified. Mean, standard deviations, and one-way ANOVA tests were conducted. The results indicate that the overall of faculty members’ perspectives towards distance learning and virtual classes and for both tracks (STEM, and humanities and social sciences) are Medium. The results do not show a significant difference at the level (α = 0.05) for the independent variables: gender, and experience. However, we observe significant differences for the academic track and academic rank. We notice some significant differences in favor of full professors and associate professors as compared to lecturers. We also observe some significant differences between STEM and non-STEM tracks in favor of the former one. The results show that the calculated means for the challenges in using distance learning and virtual classes for the STEM, and humanities and social sciences tracks are Weak. This indicates that there are no apparent challenges that hinder the effort in teaching. The results do not show a significant difference at the level (α = 0.05) for all independent variables: faculty gender, experience, academic rank, and academic track. The study concluded with few recommendations. The university should continue supporting the current efforts to provide all the requirements of teaching and learning via distance learning and virtual classes such as suitable infrastructure, internet, smart apps, and technical support. There is always a need for continuous updates of the teaching and learning platforms in line with ongoing development and training for instructors and students.
- Distance learning and virtual classes
- Faculty members’ preference
ASJC Scopus subject areas