Brant von Goble


The year 2020 saw a large and rapid COVID-related transition to distance learning, including in countries and institutions that have traditionally been averse to non-traditional instruction delivery options. The effects of this shift have been evaluated in numerous papers; however, most have addressed changes in the educational operation and mindset of students in the developed world. This article examines the self-reported performance and satisfaction of two cohorts of college students in China, the first (Cohort I) recruited from two of the researcher’s courses—Educational Research and Issues in Bicultural Education—both taught at Jilin International Studies University, and consisting of a total of 105 participants out of a possible 137 (76.64% response rate). The second cohort (Cohort II) consisted of 28 participants from higher educational institutions throughout China, collected by way of the snowball sampling method with the assistance of one of the researcher’s students. Participants were given a multi-construct electronic survey of 30 questions. They then submitted these completed surveys as DOCX files by email or by the Tencent WeChat messenger program. These results were compiled and analyzed in Microsoft Excel, using simple statistical methods and percentages. Results for each cohort differed markedly, with considerable overlap of key constructs. Students in Cohort I demonstrated considerably higher levels of satisfaction with distance education and their physically isolated living and study conditions than did those in Cohort II; however, both groups reported generally positive or neutral experiences in distance learning both in absolute terms and relative to their in-person learning experiences. Possible reasons for the differences in these responses and the suggestions for expanding and improving distance learning in China are presented herein.


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China, distance education, student satisfaction, higher education, student wellbeing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejoe.v7i1.4130


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