Distance Learning – A Missed Opportunity Zdenko Medveš
Summary: The article examines distance learning in Slovenia during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the spring of 2020. Primary and secondary schools were forced to introduce distance learning virtually overnight, as the rapid spread of the virus did not allow for any preparation. The analysis indicates that the notices circulated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the guidelines prepared by the National Education Institute contributed significantly to poorer learning outcomes. Both pursued normative logic and the formal implementation of instruction rather than pedagogical considerations, which would have encouraged schools to introduce forms of work more suitable for distance learning (individualization, collaborative learning, assessment procedures). What proved particularly detrimental, however, was the tone of the notices and guidelines implying that schools should not overburden students as well as the related relaxed attitude towards checking and assessing knowledge, which was bound to have consequences for students’ motivation. Furthermore, the opportunity was missed for the school authorities to collect generalized experiences through evaluation, which would help schools open up more systematically to the wider use of digitalization in the future.