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Online Learning: Temporary Fix or Permanent Shift?

Online learning is once again a hot topic, as both students and institutions grapple with

getting on with the business of education in the age of coronavirus. Many students, anxious to start or resume their studies, will see online learning as a temporary fix, something to get started with before transitioning to traditional campus learning.

Indeed, according to the latest QS survey “The Outlook for University Admissions: The

Impact of COVID 19” released in mid-June, 47% of students surveyed would be prepared to

start their course online. This figure rises to 64% where students believe online learning

will last only 6 months before face to face classes begin.

In LightPath’s May 2020 survey of student intentions for overseas study in Vietnam, 38% of

students were prepared to commence their studies online. You can access our survey

infographic here

I don’t see online learning as just a temporary fix, however. In my view, the coronavirus will

have an enduring, positive impact on our adoption of online learning in the future. This will

be covered in Part II of this blog (coming soon).

But back to the findings of our recent survey, and in particular attitudes towards online

learning in the current coronavirus environment.

How can institutions support their students undertake online study?

What are students worried about when it comes to online learning,

and what support are they looking for?

In our Vietnam survey, we asked students about their main concerns about online learning.

The biggest concern (44%) was the student experience and lack of engagement with other students. Concerns over quality (23%) as well as motivation (22%) were also key concerns.

We also asked students What type of support is most important to you if you commence online study with an international institution? The most important thing (43%) was the opportunity to meet and engage with other students offline, followed by offline or online tutor support (37%).

This provides important pointers to institutions as they think about how they best support their students commencing online study at this time.

But beyond the temporary fix, it also provides valuable pointers as to how institutions might

develop their blended or online programs in future. If you are an institution and you’re

keen to discuss how this might affect your future engagement with Vietnam, please get in

touch with LightPath team.


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