Document Type : Conceptual Paper


Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka


Educational institutions in Sri Lanka like schools and universities were primarily based on traditional face-to-face mode of teaching until the beginning of year 2020. The sudden outbreak of Covid-19 shook the entire world while challenging the education system across the globe. The situation led universities and other educational institutions to shift their teaching/learning activities to online mode from on campus, almost overnight. Online education was not popular in Sri Lanka by the time of this rapid transition and there were very fewer number of online courses offered by limited number of universities. Online teaching/learning that emerged with the pandemic, has been challenging in Sri Lankan university system as students, teachers and administrators were not either prepared or trained for it. This paper attempts to explore key challenges confronted with the implementation of online pedagogical approach, so that this understanding may help universities to enhance the experiences in online teaching/learning in future endurances. Amongst several, lack of training in pedagogy for online teaching is the severest challenge faced by many institutions. Most of the instructors were new to online teaching and had shifted with little or no training or preparation specific to this mode of delivery. Instructors must receive proper professional training and development to have higher expectations and to adapt their teaching to appropriate online teaching strategies.


Main Subjects

Aung, T. N., & Khaing, S. S. (2016). Challenges of implementing e-learning in developing countries: A review. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 405–411.
Balkin, R. S., Buckner, D., Swartz, J., & Rao, S. (2005). Issues in classroom management in an interactive distance education course. International Journal of Instructional Media, 32(4), 363–372.
Beck, V. . (2010). Comparing online and face-toface teaching and learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 21(3), 95–108.
Bolliger, D. U., & Martindale, T. (2004). Key factors for determining student satisfaction in online courses. International Journal on E-Learning, 3(1), 61–67.
Broadbent, J., & Poon, W. L. (2015). Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: A systematic review. Internet and Higher Education, 27, 1–13.
Census_and_Statistics_Report. (2019). Economics Statistics of Sri Lanka-2019. Department of Census and Statistics, Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka. [Retrieved from]
Crawford-Ferre, H. G., & Wiest, L. R. (2012). Effective Online Instruction in Higher Education. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(1), 11–14.
Dhawan, S. (2020). Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(1), 5–22.
Gabriel, M. A., & Kaufield, K. J. (2008). Reciprocal mentorship: An effective support for online instructors. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 16(3), 311–327.
Garbett, C. (2011). Activity-based costing models for alternative modes of delivering on-line courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 1, 1–14.
Gillett-Swan, J. (2017). The Challenges of Online Learning: Supporting and Engaging the Isolated Learner. Journal of Learning Design, 10(1), 20–30.
ICT Development Index. (2019). The ICT Development Index- IDI. International Telecommunication Union. [Retrieved from Development Index.pdf]
Jaques, D., & Salmon, G. (2007). Learning in groups: A handbook for face-to-face and online environments. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2014). Technology-enhanced learning and teaching in higher education: what is “enhanced” and how do we know? A critical literature review. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(1), 6–36.
Lee, S. J., Srinivasan, S., Trail, T., Lewis, D., & Lopez, S. (2011). Examining the relationship among student perception of support, course satisfaction, and learning oucomes in online learning. Internet and Higher Education, 14(3), 158–163.
Major, C. H. (2010). Do virtual professors dream of electric students? University faculty experiences with online distance education. Teacher College Record, 112(8), 2154–2208.
Muilenburg, L. Y., & Berge, Z. L. (2005). Students Barriers to Online Learning: A factor analytic study. Distance Education, 26(1), 29–48.
Orlando, J., & Attard, C. (2016). Digital natives come of age: the reality of today’s early career teachers using mobile devices to teach mathematics. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 28(1), 107–121.
Osman, M. E. (2005). Students’ reaction to WebCT: Implications for designing online learning environments. International Journal of Instructional Media, 32(4), 353–362.
Rosenberg, M. J. (2001). E-learning: Strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. Taiwan: McGraw-Hill Int, Enterprises Inc.
Rovai, A. P. (2003). A practical framework for evaluating online distance education programs. The Internet and Higher Education, 6(2), 109–124.
Tee, M. Y., & Karney, D. (2010). Sharing and cultivating tacit knowledge in an online learning environment. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 5, 385–413.
World Bank. (2020). Access to internet/electricity (%population)-Sri Lanka. [Retrieved from]