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LU study reveals over 60% of Hong Kong university students have found online learning not as effective as face-to-face teaching during COVID-19 pandemic

24 Jun 2020

LU study reveals over 60% of Hong Kong university students have found online learning not as effective as face-to-face teaching during COVID-19 pandemic

 

Only 27 per cent of university students in Hong Kong were satisfied with their online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak, and 60 per cent found online learning less beneficial than classroom teaching, a recent survey by the School of Graduate Studies of Lingnan University (LU) reveals.

 

The study also notes that over 85 per cent of respondents hope to resume face-to-face teaching supplemented by online learning after the pandemic. The research team suggests that traditional classroom teaching cannot be replaced by online learning at present, but that higher education institutions should seriously consider the role of online learning.

 

The online survey was conducted between 5 and 12 May 2020, and a total of 1,227 valid responses were collected from students studying in undergraduate, associate degree, higher diploma, Master’s as well as doctoral degree programmes in local higher education institutions.

 

Only 27 per cent (26.89%) of respondents said they were satisfied with online learning (Figure 1). Students experienced in using online learning platforms were 7 per cent more satisfied (29.63% vs 22.34%) than inexperienced students (Figures 2 and 3). However, students’ academic performance in the past have had no significant relationship with their levels of satisfaction in online learning (Figure 4).

 

It is worth noting that over 60 per cent (62.75%) of respondents felt that online learning is less effective than face-to-face teaching (Figure 5). A higher proportion of students unfamiliar with online learning platforms said online learning was less effective than face-to-face teaching (Figure 6).

 

Regarding factors that affect the effectiveness of online learning, nearly 60 per cent (59.68%) of respondents were concerned about the “stability of internet connection”, about half (49.55%) said they were affected by no “in-class interaction” and 45 per cent (46.33%) by the lack of “after-class communication and engagement with instructors” (Figure 7).

 

The three main challenges of online learning were lack of self-discipline (59.98%), a poor learning atmosphere (56%), and eye fatigue due to long screen time (54.77%) (Figure 8). In addition, a high proportion of respondents said their studying time (42%) and efficiency (53.71%) decreased with online learning, while their studying pressure increased (48%) (Figure 9). Over 85 per cent of respondents (85.57%) hope to resume face-to-face learning, including 65.28% respondents hope to resume face-to-face learning supplemented by online learning after the pandemic (Figure 10).

 

Prof Joshua Mok

Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho

Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of LU who led the study, said the survey reveals that traditional classroom learning cannot be replaced at present. Since students’ familiarity with how online learning platforms operate has a considerable impact on their learning satisfaction, Prof Mok suggests higher education institutions should improve their online learning skills and IT literacy.

 

He added that course instructors’ IT literacy also affects the quality of online teaching, and suggested universities to provide sufficient support in manpower, hardware, and software to improve their online teaching skills.
 

Prof Mok also suggested the HKSAR Government to support systematic research in online learning by universities to find out the best practice in the long run; for example, how to maximise the effectiveness of online learning, and make the most of it to supplement face-to-face teaching, as well as exploring the feasibility of inter-university online learning.

 

Figure 1.

Respondents’ overall assessment of the effectiveness of online learning

figure

 

Figure 2.

The relationship between respondents’ online learning experience and learning satisfaction

Figure

 

Figure 3.

The relationship between respondents’ operating skills and learning satisfaction

Figure

 

Figure 4.

The relationship between respondents’ online learning satisfaction and academic performance in the past

Figure

 

Figure 5.

Comparing the effectiveness of online learning with face-to-face teaching

Figure

 

Figure 6.

Respondents’ operating skills in online learning platforms and their comparison of the effectiveness of online learning and face-to-face teaching

Figure

 

Figure 7.

Factors affecting the effectiveness of online learning

Figure

 

Figure 8.

The difficulties of online learning

Figure

 

Figure 9.

Comparison between online learning and face-to-face teaching

Figure

 

Figure 10.

Respondents’ preference in learning modes

Figure

 

Media Report

 

TVB

 

TVB News (Chinese only)

HK01 (Chinese only)

On.cc (Chinese only)

Ta Kung Pao (Chinese only)

ThinkHK (Chinese only)

Beijing - Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre (Chinese only)

Sing Tao Daily News I (Chinese only)

Sing Tao Daily News II (Chinese only)

TOPick (Chinese only)

South China Morning Post 

Ming Pao Daily News (Chinese only)

Ming Pao Canada (Chinese only)

Bastille Post (Chinese only)

Sina.com.hk (Chinese only)

6do.news (Chinese only)