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SurveyMonkey poll: distance learning for college students during the coronavirus outbreak

SurveyMonkey poll: distance learning for college students during the coronavirus outbreak

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, businesses and schools have had to dramatically shift how they operate. In fact, nearly all students currently enrolled in higher education programs had in-person classes canceled because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Yet, the learning hasn’t stopped; 95% are still being assigned coursework from home. Curious, we at SurveyMonkey wanted to learn how this transition is going and what support students feel they need right now. We recently surveyed students currently enrolled in higher education programs across the nation to understand their experience.

Here’s what we learned...

Students want to hear from their school during crisis

  • If it were up to students, almost all would want to get updates from their school whenever new information about the COVID-19 crisis becomes available (32%) and another 29% would want to get updates every 2 to 3 days. Fully 25% want that contact daily. 
  • Though many are not keeping a regular schedule themselves, 57% are connecting with their instructors at least a few times a week, and even half (53%) of students say they would find virtual office hours extremely or very beneficial (87% at least somewhat beneficial). 
  • When asked about modes of communication, students have different preferences when it comes to connecting with their instructors versus their peers. Video chat/conferencing is ranked the second best choice for both instructor and classmate communication, however students would most prefer to email with their instructors, but text with their peers.  

Shifting to online learning is a challenge, even for students who felt prepared

  • Nearly nine in 10 (86%) are finding this transition to be disruptive and only 37% are extremely or very prepared to shift to an online learning environment. 
  • Even among those students who find themselves most prepared for online learning, over seven in 10 (71%) are finding their school experience disrupted by this transition.  
  • Less than half of students are keeping a regular schedule now that they are home most days or everyday (47%). In fact, just 16% have a set schedule every day and this drops to just six percent among those who feel unprepared for online learning.

Students worry about keeping up and in contact

  • Top concerns associated with this shift from in-person classes to distance learning are:
    1. Keeping up with coursework (45%)
    2. Losing contact with professors/instructors (33%)
    3. Being physically isolated from classmates (31%)
    4. Juggling other priorities (e.g. child care, family care (30%). 

If you didn’t have a chance to join the SurveyMonkey webinar last week, “Supporting students through distance-learning during the COVID-19 crisis” where we presented this data live, you can stream the recording and Q&A at your own pace by visiting this link!

This survey was fielded using SurveyMonkey Audience.

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Click through all of the results in the interactive toplines below: