Survey quantifies move to remote learning

By Gabriela Gutierrez 

Students within the Los Angeles Community College District participated in a survey for the Spring that focused on understanding the effects of the online learning transition. 

This one-of-a-kind survey was administered in April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of understanding about how students were coping during this time, along with how smooth the transition was overall. 

There were 9,370 students who completed the survey, with 2,453 students being enrolled in East Los Angeles College. 

The survey was broken down into four categories: whether students had access to technology, general questions about the LACCD transition response, student’s personal experience with the transition and what the best medium would be for students to use in order to receive follow-up information. 

Of the 9,370 students surveyed, a majority of them appeared to be capable of handling the transition, with 76.2% of students having regular access to a computer and 14.5% having access only sometimes. 

The survey found that 63.8% of students use a computer to access their classes. Smartphones were the runner-up with 19.9%. 

The survey also showed that most students are familiar with Canvas, which is one of the most common platforms for online learning. 

Majority of the students agreed that they have a quiet place to do their schoolwork, but 23.2% disagreed with that statement and 10.6% strongly disagreed. That is about 3,167 students who are having trouble finding a place to study and do their schoolwork. 

In retrospect, 51.4% of students agreed that they have enough free time to attend their classes during this time and 23.9% strongly agreed. 

Most students also agreed that they can figure out how to be prepared for online classes, or strongly agreed that they are prepared. That still leaves roughly 2,717 students saying they are not sure if they are prepared or who need extra help figuring it out. 

Despite the percentages of students saying they are able to handle the transition, questions about student’s personal experiences also revealed that about 6,737 students are dealing with an increase in worry and anxiety and that  6,480 of those students are dealing with average amounts of stress or more than average amounts of stress. 

The survey questions that focused on student transition overall, remained consistent with typically over 65% of students. They agreed that they had access to basic online learning tools and that they understand what is expected of them in their classes. 53.4% of students agreed that they have communication with their instructors in all their classes and 40.7% in some of their classes. 

The questions that focused on the LACCD transition response revealed that most students felt informed about changes made in their colleges due to COVID-19. 

Although most students have access to the information and tools they need, the survey showed a shift when students answered questions about whether they were using their respective college resources. 

When it came to follow-up information, most students chose not to answer. Students were asked if they would like more information about academic supports like the Academic Support Center, NetTutor, Admissions and Records, Academic Counseling, Disability Support Services, Financial Aid, the Library and Transfer Applications.. 

Information on financial aid was the most requested with 42.7%. Other than that, the percentages remained under 40% for the rest of the questions. 

According to 93.9% of students, email continues to be the most useful form of communication between them and their colleges. Email was also the medium used to share the survey. 

The insight provided by the survey, according to the school email, was to help each college improve by having students share their experiences. Students were given the option to share additional thoughts and some students shared that they would like more support with resources like financial aid, grants and even one-on-one support, something that was previously exclusive to students when they met with a counselor on-campus. 

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