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79 percent of students say quality of education worse with online courses amid COVID: poll

The results are in — most students are not impressed with distance learning.

The College Fix recently asked 1,000 students: “How has the quality of your education changed because your college or university moved its courses online due to the coronavirus?”

Fifty-four percent of students said it’s “somewhat worse,” and another 25 percent replied it’s “significantly worse,” for a total of 79 percent.

“As a senior, my classes were hands-on application stuff by nature. Online, I have learned nothing,” replied one Clemson University student. “Might as well have given me the degree in March.”

Only 16 percent of college students responded the quality of their education remained the same, 4 percent said it’s somewhat better, and 2 percent said it’s significantly better.

“Going online has helped me a bunch,” one University of Montana student stated. “I have social anxiety and being online has allowed me to finally participate in class discussions. I can also take my time going through the lectures instead of trying to keep up and missing a bunch of content.”

The online survey was conducted April 23 and April 24 exclusively for The College Fix by College Pulse. The sample was drawn from College Pulse’s undergraduate student panel that includes more than 270,000 students representing some 900 different colleges and universities in all 50 states. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 3.5 percent.

The College Fix’s result mirror another poll that asked a similar question.

OneClass polled 1,287 students from 45 colleges and universities and asked: “Do you feel like you are receiving a quality e-learning experience from your university/college since classrooms were closed to students?” In response, 75.5 percent of students responded saying no, they are not receiving a quality e-learning experience from their current school.

As for The College Fix poll, in the comments section of the survey students have the option to weigh in on the poll questions. Here are some responses:

Boston University: I used to be a good student who participated in all of my classes (most are small and discussion based) and now I haven’t shown up to a single class in three weeks.

IUP: It’s all class dependent. A few of my professors are still doing routine classes, while others have basically put the powerpoints online and left us to our own devices.

Ohio University: I’ve been taking online classes for a few semesters now. I actually like them more than in-person classes but I seem to be in the minority.

University of Tulsa: Nursing school is not meant to be online!

While most students in various categories answered the question the same way regardless of race, gender, or political affiliation, one anomaly did stand out.

Nearly half of the students surveyed who attend a two-year college responded that the quality of their education has remained the same, and none said it’s gotten better. Fifty-six percent said it’s somewhat worse and only 2 percent said it’s “significantly worse.”

Over the last week, more universities have announced their plans to bring students back to campus this fall with modifications to factor in health and safety protocols.

MORE: What do scholars have to say about this constantly changing COVID model? Not much.

IMAGE: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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