Poorer students more likely to find online learning challenging

Poorer students more likely to find online learning challenging

Students from poorer households are more likely to find engaging with online learning challenging, a Canvas study has found.

Poorer students find staying engaged with e-learning 4 times more challenging in comparison to their upper economic peers, a recent study, ‘The State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education’, by learning management solutions provider Canvas has found.

A huge number of students across the world have had to resort to online learning in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their studies.

However, this report, which surveyed over 7,000 students in June 2020, has revealed that the economic background of a student’s household is likely to have a significant effect on the success of this transition.

Only 11% of students from poorer households retained high engagement with online learning

In comparison to 48% of students from upper economic class households, only 11% of students from lower income households were able to stay very engaged with remote or online learning, the Canvas study found.

Furthermore, while 43% of students from upper economics class households reported that grade point average was extremely important to their measure of success, only 26% of students from lower economic class households attributed the same level of importance to their grade.

Among the students who responded feeling the least engaged, 55% of these reported having a lack of access to technology in high school, and 50% either grew up in a household with no parents or were raised by a guardian.

Almost 70% of students feel they are now ‘falling behind’ on their studies

This threatened level of success comes as part of the report’s revelation that almost 70% of students have reported that the pandemic has caused them to fall behind on their studies.

The study by Canvas aimed to expose the impact that the pandemic has had, and continues to have, on student success and engagement.

The report revealed the stress and anxiousness that the world’s higher education students are facing, as well as the extent that the pandemic has heightened socioeconomic disparities among students.

Melissa Loble, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Instructure, the edtech company that owns Canvas LMS, expressed her hopes for improvement amongst the world’s HEIs in the coming months:

“Although 2020 has created stressful moments of transition, it has also opened up opportunities and accelerated many changes that were beginning to take place in higher education.

“Colleges and universities have become much more agile in decision-making and we’re seeing more and more siloes breaking down. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for colleges and universities to better understand what students need to be successful and engaged.”

Pic: Bermix Studio

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at josephine@globaleducationtimes.org

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