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Original scientific paper

Digital education at European higher education institutions during COVID-19 pandemic: Example of the library and information science field

Kristina Feldvari orcid id ; Odsjek za informacijske znanosti, Filozofski fakultet, Sveučilište u Osijeku
Sabina Rako ; Sveučilišni računalni centar, Zagreb
Milijana Mičunović ; Odsjek za informacijske znanosti, Filozofski fakultet, Sveučilište u Osijeku

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Objective. The objective of this study was to identify and interpret the current state of play of the implementation of digital education (DE) in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the field of library and information science (LIS) during COVID-19 pandemic.
Approach/Methodology/Design. In order to collect data, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted. A survey for the study’s target audience the heads/directors of LIS schools/departments in Europe was created and disseminated. The collected data were analysed using the method of descriptive statistics.
Results. The survey was completed by the heads/directors of 56 LIS schools/departments in 23 European countries. The results indicate that DE presents a positive disruptive force that transforms the teaching and learning process and widens access to education, especially in crisis situations. It also indicates that despite the need for emergency response, almost all aspects of DE were deliberately and successfully implemented in most of the LIS higher education institutions. Further analysis of core topic areas (through interviews and focus groups) will provide a deeper insight into teachers’ and students’ practices and their overall appraisal of DE during the pandemic.
Limitations. Limitations include the methods used to collect data and the lack of clarity and understanding of certain terms and concepts by a small number of participants.
Originality/value. This paper offers an in-depth understanding of the role of DE in crisis situations within the field of LIS. It underlines the necessity for consistent monitoring and evaluation of DE to guarantee its quality. Consequently, this paper may contribute to more effective policy and decision-making processes concerning DE. Moreover, it aims to help create frameworks and guidelines that facilitate simpler, more sustainable, and broader implementation of DE in LIS HEIs.


COVID-19 pandemic; digital education; higher education institutions; library and information science

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