When Online Learning Became Adversity Instead of a Blessing: Students’ Experiences


To avoid the spread of the coronavirus, one of the main policies in the world was to close schools. According to UNESCO, more than 1.2 billion students in 182 countries were assigned to study from home in March to May 2020, including more than 68 million students of all levels of education in Indonesia. To let them keep on learning, most campuses and schools implemented online learning through the internet or offline learning conducted using television, radio, modules, textbooks, or worksheets.

Online learning implementation must have created no problem for students in Greater Jakarta in general and high school and college students in particular due to two reasons. First, Greater Jakarta is one of the areas with the best internet network in Indonesia. Thus, students are supposed to have no problem with internet access. Second, Indonesian students’ interest to use ICT is very high. Cambridge International research (2018) showed that, globally, Indonesian students have the highest interest in using computer space (40%) and are at the second-highest rank in desktop computer use (54%) after the US. Also, 67% of Indonesian students use smartphones in class and 81% use them to help to do homework. Indonesian students who use laptops to do homework reached 84%, slightly lower than students in the US (85%). Indonesian students’ high interest in using ICT was also shown by the APJII survey (2018) revealing that almost 65% of Indonesia’s population uses the internet. In detail, the survey showed that the percentage of children aged 5-9 years who have used the internet is 25.2%; those aged 10-14 years, 66.2%, adolescents aged 15-19 years, 91%; and residents aged 20-24 years, 88%.

Those statistics indicate that students in Greater Jakarta would find no significant difficulties to learn online when they were assigned to learn from home during the coronavirus pandemic. To see how they went through it, a survey was conducted on 1-7 June 2020. The survey was essentially carried out by students attending the present writer’s Research Methodology class at Universitas Kristen Indonesia Jakarta in the even semester of 2019/2020 Academic year. The survey was assigned as a final group project to complete the course. The data analyzed in this article was part of the data collected by the group surveying the elementary, junior high, senior high, and college students in Greater Jakarta. Since the government still enforced social distancing and health protocols when the data was collected, the students found it very hard to select the sample randomly. To kick the deadline, they employed a convenient sampling technique by inviting participants they could reach through the social media to fill in the online questionnaire using Google Forms.

The respondents participating in the survey were 402 students. Since they consisted of students from various educational levels (primary school to college), the term teacher in this article also includes the lecturer, and the school also includes campus.

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