Distance learning causing "very major problems" for many students
Students are struggling under the coronavirus restrictions that have them learning from home, according to a survey of over 11,500 students by ResearchNED on how they experience distance learning during the pandemic. They struggle with social-emotional problems, loneliness and notice the quality of lectures deteriorating. For some, online education is leading to "very big problems", the researchers said, NOS reports.
One in 20 students said they struggle with mental, social-emotional, concentration, motivation, and study progress problems. That converts to a group of 30 thousand to 35 thousand students, according to the researchers.
The social-emotional problems can partly be attributed to the lack of interaction and contact with lecturers and fellow students. The coronavirus restrictions also make students feel socially isolated. 30 percent said they feel lonely. Concentration and motivation problems seem to increase the longer distance learning continues, the researchers said.
Students also think the quality of their lessons is deteriorating, though most said they don't think they suffered major study delays compared to before the pandemic, according to the researchers. A quarter said they don't think remote lectures are a good way to gain knowledge. Almost all of them said they want to go back to physical lessons.
On the plus side, students are happy with online one-on-one contact with their lecturers during the pandemic. They also mentioned doing more in less time and not having to travel as advantages.
The survey was done on behalf of student union ISO. The union finds the results of "great concern" for society "because behind these shocking figures are real people," ISO chairman Dahran Coban said to NOS. "If the only person you see all day is your own reflection on your screen, then it makes sense for students to feel lonely and have mental problems."
The ISO wants educational institutions to scale up to more in-person education as quickly as possible. More should also be done to improve the social side of education, the union said.