How has remote learning impacted university students

It has been a whole year since the global education system was rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020 in Australia remote learning became the way forward for Universities during the pandemic. Since it’s been a year i thought it would be interesting to look back at remote learning in regards to high education. This project will examine the good and the bad that came with remote learning.

This topic is relevant and timely because the move to remote learning is a very recent development that affects most if not every single university student last year. The possible future effects and impacts of the move to remote learning need to be researched and understood.

This is an achievable topic to conduct research on because all of the Human research could be conducted in the BCM 212 community as a majority have experienced remote learning and are still experiencing it. This makes it easy to get real student testimony on the impacts and effects remote learning and Covid-19 had on them.

Human research

As a part of my research I conducted two separate twitter polls regarding the topic. The first was ‘how have you felt about the move to remote study especially last year’ which received a fairly close vote between positive and negative. A majority felt good about the move but in a follow up regarding the equality issues brought by remote learning in regards to internet access showed that a majority believed it did create equality issues when it came to reliable internet access.

Online and Remote Learning in Higher Education Institutes: A Necessity in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

I read Ali Wahab academic on remote learning in regards to higher education, in the paper it mentioned a report by the World Bank which highlighted a few challenges that will occur with the move to remote education. A few highlighted that if I felt , I would be able to explore through my research. Moving to online learning at scale raises profound equity concerns, Some academic subjects are easier to move online than others and Universities need to negotiate with internet vendors to help provide access to online learning for students for free or at a cheaper rate. All of these are potential issues that were predicted to occur with the move to remote learning, this research paper shows that there were concerns and i would like to explore how much these factors affected fellow university students whilst taking apart in remote study.

Up to 50% of university students unhappy with online learning, regulator finds

In this article it discusses the fact that many university students do not like remote study, somewhere between 33% to 50% of students. There are few common influencing factors that inform this opinion including lack of engagement, less time in class overall, isolation from peers, IT issues and has increased the difficulty of tests and exams. The article importantly stated that in degrees that require large practical components like visual arts and engineering; the students of those classes were massively disadvantaged by the move to remote study. 

Long-term online learning in pandemic may impact students well-being and academics 

This article touches on some of the long term effects of remote learning. It suggested that due to the pandemic and move to remote learning it couldn’t potentially cause a dip in student performance due to factors like homelife and technology access but Alamuddin said in the article that students actually out performed researches expectations but this could be due to more accommodating pass/fail outcomes. This study was conducted on US students but has very similar factors that would still be relevant to Australian students.

Student satisfaction at Australia’s universities drops to all-time low in 2020

This article builds upons from what I learned in the article (Up to 50% of university students unhappy with online learning, regulator finds) as it shows that we have seen record lows in student satisfaction in 2020 especially during major lockdown periods “August/September”. This biggest takeaway from this for me was how much learner engagement dropped and learning resources dropped. The drop shows that remote learning had a massive negative impact on students ability to understand and to get everything fully out of their degree.

I would like to continue research into this topic as I see it is something that needs to be further researched and it is important to reflect on whether remote learning effect us negatively or positively as university students.

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