The Account of Communication Students in Navigating Ways of Learning in the COVID-19 Milieu
Keywords:COVID-19, Media Education, Online Learning, Pakistani Media Education, The Pandemic, Digitization of Academia
As the world was grappling with the onset of the pandemic, COVID-19, academic institutions had the challenge of ensuring uninterrupted academic sessions. In Pakistan, too, the academia faced many hurdles to shift to the online mode of teaching, which needed spontaneous troubleshooting for academic efficacy. This paper discusses the insights of media education in the post-pandemic landscape of Pakistan. It investigates students’ perspectives on mentoring approaches deployed by communication and media teachers and their favorable outcomes. By conducting students’ interviews, the study explores how they navigated their paths of learning, and what kind of challenges they found hard to encounter. By interpreting our findings in the context of Mentoring Enactment theory (MET) and an extension of Social Penetration Theory (SPT), we outline the experiences of students in online learning. The paper not only explicates the current situation of digital learning in Pakistan but also highlights and recommends areas of improvement in pedagogic skills. Although online learning has accelerated the digitization of academia in Pakistan, there are serious concerns about the quality of learning. Another notable finding of this study is the role of social media—particularly WhatsApp—in performing the role of an intermediary when most universities were either reviving their LMS or were establishing them from scratch.