Cyberspace Migration Learning Encounters of Filipino Universi ...

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The temporary closure of schools in the Philippines on account of the COVID-19 pandemic has confronted its educational system with the challenge of delivering inclusive quality education, especially in remote areas lacking cyberspace infrastructure. This article explores the online learning experiences of university students living in rural areas by addressing three objectives. First, it explores the cyberspace migration experiences of college students living in rural areas. Second, it describes how these encounters in cyberspace migration affected their learning condition. Third, it explains how these challenges in cyberspace migration exacerbated the digital divide in Philippine education. Using phenomenological hermeneutics, 30 participants were selected using criterion sampling. Findings revealed three themes describing their cyberspace migration learning encounters using thematic analysis: (1) challenges in online class access and participation; (2) challenges in doing course activities and transfer of learning; and (3) challenges in mobility and finances for online learning. Online learning provides an avenue for the educational system to be more flexible as it transitions from the traditional face-to-face mode of delivery; however, given the multifold challenges in cyberspace migration in the Philippine rural areas, it is suggested that the government, in partnership with viable internet providers, prioritize and expedite the creation of cyberspace infrastructure in remote areas to address the widening digital divide in education.