HEALTH ISSUES AND EFFECTIVENESS OF ONLINE LEARNING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Theories: This paper is enlightened by principles of online education that predict the use of digital and online platforms and gadgets by e-learners who are the center of all the learning process (Ally, 2008; Anderson, 2008). Alongside with these principles, the displacement hypothesis and the Goldilocks hypothesis are considered. These hypotheses highlight the harm caused by the overuse of technologies.
Objectives: The paper aims to identify and discuss health disturbances associated to ineffectiveness of online teaching and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic (in Zimbabwe).
Methods: The study adopts a quantitative approach (Williams, 2007). It is a cross-sectional, exploratory and descriptive study, involving 128 university students who adopted e-learning process due to restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic.
Results: The paper reveals that students develop a range of health issues due to increased screen time. However, this is not a sole case of students involved in this study. E-learners develop disturbances such as headaches, difficulties to sleep, stress and depression, inattention, difficulties to see and read, tearing eyes, and irritation in eyes.
Discussion: Besides representing additional and serious challenges to societies and health sectors, these disturbances interfere negatively in students/e-learners’ activities and performance. Therefore, there is a need to develop adequate (online or offline) mechanisms to control students’ screen time. In fact, if the use of technologies is good, then societies are urged to assume “control over what is good”.