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Remote Students Prefer Active Learning and Communities: Study


A survey of more than 3,000 college and university students has found students continue to have reservations about their remote learning experiences as the fall semester progresses. Seven out of ten students feel that online learning is not as effective as in-person instruction.

While more than half (57 percent) of students reported their opinion of their school remained the same or improved, 47 percent believe that it has gotten slightly or significantly worse.

Additionally, students voice a strong preference for instructors who make active learning, as well as a sense of community and belonging, a top priority in the virtual classroom.

More than half of respondents expressed concerns about their ability to pass the current school term. Most attribute this to an unengaging class experience and a lack of face to face interaction with others in class. However, the majority of the respondents reported that they were likely or highly likely to enroll for the spring 2021 academic term.

Using the Right Tools

The more the merrier? Not for online learning. Almost half (42 percent) of students that have to use four or more tools to support the learning process encountered greater difficulty in classes.

These same students were also found to have more difficulty going through resources and saying that the synchronous learning experience, which refers to a group of students learning at the same time, is not engaging.

However, live videos appear to be an effective medium of instruction, with almost 80 percent of students confirming that video chats and live streaming contribute to making remote learning somewhat or significantly better.

Most students agree that their instructors have adjusted well to remote learning, and have applied the training they received in improving student engagement and learning outcomes to their online lessons.

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