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New study: HIT students prefer online studies

In the wake of Covid-19 students are not eager to return to frontal classes on campus 




A new study from HIT indicates that, after becoming accustomed to online studies during the Covid-19 pandemic, most HIT students prefer it that way… 

The study was conducted by Prof. Arik Sadeh, former Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Technology Management, and Eliyahu (Eliran) Mordechay Hirsh, HIT alumnus and currently Lecturer at the Dept. of Computer Science. The paper was presented at the 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, held in Seville, Spain, in November 2021. 

Prof SadehProf. Sadeh: "The Covid-19 pandemic has forced academic institutions all over the world to deliver their courses online, rather than on campus. This unusual situation has provided us with a unique opportunity to examine the effectiveness of online learning, and how it is perceived by its most important target audience: our students. To investigate this critical issue, highly relevant to both teachers and students worldwide, we devised and implemented a special study.

240 undergraduate and graduate students at HIT, mostly from the Faculties of Science and Technology Management, answered a special 12-question questionnaire comparing online studies to frontal sessions in several different aspects. The grades attained in the two different formats were also compared, and the collected data was then statistically analyzed. Finally, the students were asked directly whether they would like to return to frontal learning on campus.

Perhaps the most surprising finding was that most students were not very eager to return to the frontal on-campus mode and were apparently willing to sacrifice the social interactions of student life in favor of the advantages of online studies at home.
Additional findings indicate some degree of preference for online studies in most parameters: focus during the lesson, grasp of materials, participation in lessons, and being prepared for examinations. Of these, the differences in grasping the material and being prepared for exams are statistically significant. Grades were also slightly higher for courses and exams delivered online. Only the parameter of attendance received a statistically significant higher rating in frontal classes – probably because online classes are recorded and can be viewed at any time.

Eliran Mordechay HirshEliyahu (Eliran) Mordechay Hirsh: "Our findings suggest an interesting trend among students after experiencing online studies during the pandemic, with a slight majority preferring this format to traditional frontal classes. We must however stress that the study is based on a relatively small sample from a single academic institution with a technological orientation, in one country. In order to obtain reliable results representing the world's entire student population, we recommend the study's repetition with larger samples of students, from other disciplines, other academic institutions and more countries. Comprehensive investigation of this issue may drive significant changes in the structure of academic studies around the globe."


Posted: 06/10/2022