Surakarta, 27 June 2021
The spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) since the beginning of 2020 has had a tremendous impact globally. All countries are required to respond to the spread of the deadly virus by reducing physical contact between its people. Therefore, all countries set a non-populist policy that is a total lockdown where public activities are reduced even prohibited so that this policy directly and massively impacts public institutions such as educational institutions. Thus, this condition requires the learning process to be conducted online to reduce crowds and minimize physical contact. Indeed, these drastic and sudden changes make teachers, students, parents, and educational stakeholders have to adjust to online learning.
It has been more than a year since the virus has been spread, yet many research results show the stuttering of teachers, students, schools, and education policymakers in managing and running online learning. In response to these conditions, The Association of Educational Institutions of Muhammadiyah and Aisyah Universities (ALPTK-PTMA) took the initiative to hold an international conference to gather researchers, practitioners, and educational experts to discuss the role of researchers in maintaining and improving the quality of learning during pandemic Covid-19. So, on June 26, 2021, the 6th Progressive and Fun Education (The 6th Profunedu) International Conference was conducted online and took the theme of The Role of Educational Researchers in Facing Global Challenge During the Covid-19 Pandemic. The conference opened by The Coordinating Minister of Human Development and Culture of Republic Indonesia invited four experts, namely Prof. Dr. Zulkardi (Chief in Editor Journal on Mathematics Education (Scopus Q1), Indonesia), Dr. Sarah Prestridge (expert in online learning from Griffith University, Australia), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gamal Abdul Nasir Zakaria (University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam), and Dr. Anam Sutopo (Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta, Indonesia). The conference, which 154 international participants attended, resulted in a similar perception that the role of educational researchers is enormous in creating online learning innovations, strengthening the skills of teachers and students, and creating the right technologies to make the online learning process more effective efficient.
In its implementation, this conference collaborated with several universities such as the Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta as a host and co-organizers such as Ahmad Dahlan University, Muhammadiyah University of Makassar, and Muhammadiyah University Sorong, Muhammadiyah University of Dr. Hamka, and the Muhammadiyah University of Malang. The conference also collaborated with Scopus indexed journals and proceedings, namely the Asian Journal of University Education (AJUE) and AIP Conference Proceedings. In addition, several journals in Indonesia also became a channel for the publication of papers in this conference ranging from accredited journals Sinta 5 to accredited Sinta 2.
Hopefully, the panel discussion of invited speakers and the papers published from this conference can inspire efforts to improve the quality of online learning.