Cambridge University Press asked 1,200 students around the world how they are adapting to the new learning environment imposed by the pandemic and what they think about their progress and change in the way they learn.
The survey involved a sample of individuals from over 100 countries around the world (among the top ten: Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, Mexico, Russia, India, China, Spain, Italy and Poland), from school-age students to adults (mainly independent students, university and private language school students).
What are the stimuli of online education?
50% of students found distance learning more difficult than they thought, while 25% of respondents found it just as they imagined it, and the remaining 25% found it easier than they thought.
The 3 main challenges that students face in distance learning are time management, motivation and communication. The results indicate that oral communication skills are the most difficult to practice at home.
Individuals who learn independently remotely are more motivated than students who usually study in institutional settings. "The main activities that students found particularly motivating were the use of materials found online (e.g. YouTube videos) and a secure online space where they could practice and learn. Offline resources, such as books, were always found useful and motivating".
Overall, students felt that they were continuing to make progress in learning, including studying from home (average score: 3.5 out of 5). What they found most useful in distance learning was being able to see evidence of their learning, receive answers to their questions and feedback from their teachers.
Looking into the future, students said they would like to do about 60% of their learning online. This figure is slightly higher for adult and independent students (67%) and lower for primary and secondary school students (53%). The main advantages of online learning that they mentioned include: the ability to study whenever you want, access to a wide range of materials and the possibility to experience results and progress.
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