Student Attitudes Towards Online Education during the COVID-19 Viral Outbreak of 2020: Distance Learning in a Time of Social Distance

Shem Unger, William Meiran
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Abstract


In this paper, undergraduate student attitudes towards rapidly shifting to an entirely online learning environment were assessed due to COVID-19. In addition, surveys on perceptions about misinformation in media, overall anxiety towards distance learning, knowledge of disease outbreak, and level of preparedness during the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) 2020 outbreak were analyzed. Students surveyed (N = 82) consisted of Wingate undergraduate students from across majors and academic years as part of an animal behavior course covering psychology and human behavior during the COVID-19 2020 crisis during the first two weeks when students returned to school entirely online from off-campus. The majority of students responded that online learning would not be the same as in-class learning (91.5%), indicating a significant difference in responses. Many students indicated they had witnessed some misinformation on COVID-19 in media (98.8%), and there was a significant difference for student perception on being well informed from standard news media (e.g., TV, newspapers) versus social media (t-test = 3.78, p <0.001). Many students (75.6%) responded they held some level of anxiety towards rapidly shifting to finishing a semester online, with 84.2% having discussed disease transmission actively and yet only 64.6% felt well prepared for emergency situations. The majority of students felt preventative measures (university requiring students to move off campus and remainder of semester moving to online distance learning) were based on good science and medical knowledge. Of the students that freely commented in the survey, overall students displayed a wide range of responses, with most expressing anxiety toward online learning, disappointment regarding graduation ceremony, and online learning being different than standard in-class learning. A follow up survey consisting of one question, revealed improvement in students that stated they felt less anxiety towards online learning after 3 weeks (51.4% Yes: 48.6% No), but still many students exhibiting anxiety towards distance education.

Keywords


COVID-19, Distance learning, Student anxiety

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References


Unger, S., & Meiran, W. R. (2020). Student attitudes towards online education during the COVID-19 viral outbreak of 2020: Distance learning in a time of social distance. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 4(4), 256-266.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijtes.v4i4.107

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International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES)-ISSN: 2651-5369

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.