More than Half of Japanese University Students Generally Satisfied with Online ClassesSociety
A survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) into the effects of COVID-19 on student lifestyles, found that more than 80% of university students responded that “most/all” or “a lot” of their classes in the second half of the 2020–21 academic year had been held online. Asked about the level of satisfaction they felt regarding those online classes, almost 60% in total answered that they were “satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied.”
The survey was conducted in March 2021, targeting 3,000 randomly selected university, graduate, and technical college students, and received 1,744 valid responses. Looking at the ratio of students who had online classes, 9.2% had “none at all,” 11.3% had “less than half” online, 19.9% had “a lot,” and 59.6% had “most/all” online.
Meanwhile, 13.8% were “satisfied,” 43.1% were “somewhat satisfied,” 21.0% “couldn’t say either way,” 14.9% were “not very satisfied,” and 5.7% were “unsatisfied.”
Asked about the benefits students found with having online classes, with multiple responses possible, the most common response was that they could choose the place where they wanted to study (79.3%). This was followed by being able to study at their own pace (66.1%) and that they could understand the classes better than face-to-face ones (14.7%). In contrast, the main drawback was that students felt lonely at not being able to take classes with their friends (53.0%). Other common answers included feeling that there were a lot of reports and other assignments (49.7%) and that the classes felt physically tiring (44.0%).
What benefits did you find with online classes?
|Easier to understand than face-to-face lessons||14.7%|
|Could study at my own pace||66.1%|
|Could have the chance to discuss unclear points together||10.2%|
|Was able to choose the location I wanted to take classes||79.3%|
Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Multiple responses possible.
What drawbacks did you find with online classes?
|Insufficient explanations about the lesson format||21.3%|
|More difficult to understand than face-to-face lessons||42.7%|
|Few or no chances to ask questions or discuss topics together||43.9%|
|A lot of reports and other assignments||49.7%|
|Felt lonely because couldn’t take classes with friends||53.0%|
|Inadequate Internet access||15.5%|
|Felt physically tiring||44.0%|
Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Multiple responses possible
Among the opinions and suggestions students gave regarding online classes, one said “it’s fine to have classes online, but seminars and job-seeking courses are better face to face,” while another answered that “even online, there needs to be ways to interact with group work and feedback from professors, rather than just one-way communication.”
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)