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UNL surveys pros and cons of remote learning

Students can answer the survey here.
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 9:32 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - The pandemic forced millions of students across the country into remote learning last year, and a University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor wants to know what worked.

Professor Barney McCoy is examining college students’ impressions now that schools are investing in online software. He intends to publish his findings this fall so schools can use the guidance in a post-pandemic learning environment.

“I don’t feel like I’m learning as much,” one junior student said.

A senior student said different students have different opinions when asked about him and his peers.

The survey is 22 questions and takes about 6 minutes.

McCoy couldn’t reveal much about his findings so far due to the risk of skewing results. The survey is open through March.

“We really do believe that the distraction levels have gone up,” McCoy said. “A lot of students have self-identified that as well.”

The journalism professor has studied student distraction in the past. In this survey, he’s collected info from about 300 students so far. His results are coming from universities across the country.

The goal of the study is to inform schools the advantages and disadvantages of remote learning.

“[Students] have identified some advantages,” McCoy said. “For example, if they can take remote learning, that gives them some more flexibility for working a second job or even working a full-time job.”

Some students have said they can’t pay attention at home or when the family is around. Others say you can’t replace a classroom setting.

“In the in-person classes, you can raise your hand and ask the professor questions face-to-face,” senior Jovi Tai said.

McCoy showed 6 News some of the software journalism students are using this semester. Students are required to engage and the professor can track their progress. McCoy was planning to contact the students falling behind in his classes Friday afternoon.

McCoy hopes the results can help schools better understand the use of digital devices in class and whether policies will make a difference.

His survey focuses on college students, you can take it here. McCoy says his past research shows younger students are more susceptible to distractions. He says other experts are conducting remote-learning surveys for younger students.

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