Online Learning Management in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic at Junior High Schools in Indonesia
The purposes of this research are to analyze online learning management activities conducted by the principals of junior high schools in Indonesia in facing COVID-19 as well as to discuss their perspective and expectations towards online learning activities when facing COVID-19 and after COVID-19 has passed.
Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture instructed that teaching and learning activities for all levels of education in Indonesia must be carried out online from home. There have been comprehensive reports about the various forms of online learning, its effects on students, the challenges, the learning transition from offline to online, and teachers’ views on this new approach. Very few, if any, focus on how principals act upon the transition during this COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this research focuses on how principals overcome various problems that arise in the implementation of online learning activities.
As many as 309 principals of junior high school from twelve districts in Indonesia were asked to give their responses to a set of questionnaires. The reliability of the questionnaire was analyzed using Cronbach’s Alpha with the help of SmartPLS 3.0 software. The percentage was mainly used in the descriptive analysis. To obtain the influence among variables, the statistical inferential analysis was used.
Although the sample size of this research is limited, the results may contribute to the existing theory and practice related to the implementation of online learning in Indonesia. The findings of this research could be a guide for principals to manage online learning in the future.
The data analysis showed that the constructs of organizing and monitoring-evaluation were found to play an important role as a mediator between the variables of planning with implementation of principal management in online learning. Path analysis demonstrated that the implementation variable was significantly influenced by the variables of planning, organizing and monitoring-evaluation, with a contribution value of 78.20%. Thus, it indicated that the planning, organizing and monitoring-evaluation variables contributed directly or indirectly to the implementation of principal management in online learning. Generally, the online learning management activities conducted by the principals of junior high schools in Indonesia have been carried out well, especially in the Implementing aspect. However, the aspects of Planning, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation, still need to be improved.
The government is recommended to provide adequate online learning supporting facilities as well as to facilitate teachers to increase insight and knowledge in terms of technology use, especially in designing, implementing, and providing assessments of online learning. So far, the government has provided some facilities and conveniences to principals and teachers. However, some information and ICT related trainings from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic is not widely known by the principals and the teachers. Socialization about these is needed.
This work offers a theoretical understanding of the problems faced by school principals in facing COVID-19. Further research on how principals and teachers manage online learning activities needs to be carried out to solve various problems which might arise during the process of implementation.
This research suggests that the principals in Indonesia have good online learning management. However, to reach the stated learning objectives efficiently and effectively, the principals need to collaborate with the teachers as the main facilitators of the teaching and learning process. Cooperation with parents is also highly recommended.
Further research should focus on how the application of online learning can improve students’ achievement through good management and collaboration with teachers, other administration staff at schools, and parents.