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Survey of university students, faculty says online learning has had negative impact

The poll of 2,700 people was commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and released on Tuesday. Scott Graham

A survey of university students, faculty, and academic librarians in Ontario suggests that the shift to online learning has negatively affected the quality of their educational experience.

The poll of 2,700 people was commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and released today.

It reveals that 62 per cent of students and 76 per cent of faculty and academic librarians believe online learning has had a negative impact on education quality.

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Rahul Sapra, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, said that the results show a meaningful engagement between students and faculty is a fundamental part of the learning process.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scramble to move courses online, we have lost that human connection and educational quality has suffered,” Sapra said.

The survey found that financial security, care demands, and work-life balance are significant stress points for both groups.

A report by Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children released this summer called for a full return to school, stating that while children under 10 were less susceptible to the virus and less likely to pass it onto others, they were already reporting increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Last week, Ontario’s education minister Stephen Lecce announced that there will be no extended winter break for schools across the province, citing the government’s coherent response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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