Some parents won’t pay or are unsure whether their kids are registering online for the fall
Many parents of high school and current college students are skeptical of the quality of distance education offered by colleges since the arrival of the coronavirus in the United States. And some of those parents wouldn’t send their kids to college in the fall if education was online.
These are the results of a Tyton Partners survey conducted this month.
The survey was conducted on Facebook and was answered by 464 parents. Gates Bryant, Tyton partner, admitted that Facebook polls are not the most reliable tool. But he said Tyton appreciated the opportunity of the investigation. Additionally, the flaws of a Facebook poll – likely a richer and whiter sample than the general population – make the survey sample more representative of those populations.
Of the sample, only 57% said they would continue their child’s education at the same school if they only offered online education in the fall. Seven percent said they would definitely not return to the same college. And 35 percent said they weren’t sure.
Skepticism about online education was greatest among parents whose children were seniors in high school. Of those, around 10 percent said they would not send their children to a college that only offered online education.
Parents were also asked to rate the quality of distance education that students are currently receiving, and on a scale of 1 to 10, they rated it at just 5.6.
When asked why, they mainly gave three reasons. The first was that distance learning is of lower quality than in person. Typical quotes were “The content looks very poor. It is primarily the student who reviews the content online and then takes quizzes and tests. I am concerned that my student will not receive the same quality of teaching in this format as compared to being on campus. And “She’s a major in science and has three challenging labs. Registered labs are not well done and she has no real access to professors or teaching assistants. It is very frustrating for her and doing the lab homework takes a long time to understand.
Other reasons were that instructors are unprepared and important parts of the student experience are missing. Typical quotes were “Inconsistency in the delivery of instruction.” By my child. Teachers with limited technological skills and knowledge do not teach. They only provide reading homework without any lectures, forcing students to take an exam and show their work without any orientation. “And” My child goes to a small private university. We have chosen this school in collaboration so that he can participate in the personal knowledge of his teachers and his comrades. This cannot be done online. Therefore, collaborative learning in his passionate lessons is delayed.
The survey also found that parents were less likely to pay the same tuition fees as those charged before the coronavirus.
What Should Colleges Do?
The question for colleges is what to do about this skepticism. Adding to the complexity of their decision, the colleges are just beginning to announce – or seriously consider – their plans for the fall.
Bryant, of Tyton Partners, said he viewed the results “as a strong statement of dissatisfaction” with the status quo. “Something has to change.”
He said Tyton wasn’t necessarily advocating a college solution, but offered three possible approaches.
- Do something with September. One approach could be to turn September into a block course period, as some colleges do for January, with students taking only one crash course. “What is so precious about September?” He asked. He suggested this as an approach for all undergraduates, not just freshmen. The class is expected to be online, but colleges could schedule a full semester starting in October. (Some colleges, like Beloit College, already do this with a split fall semester, so students can take the first half online and the second half in person.)
- Take the financial pressure off. Davidson College did so by letting anyone affected by COVID-19 delay 2020 tuition payments by one year. While Davidson is a relatively wealthy university, University of Southern New Hampshire offers a full scholarship for one year to all who enroll on the university’s traditional campus.
- Use this time to get started in online education in a meaningful way. Many colleges were caught off guard by the coronavirus and needed to prepare for the transition very quickly, Bryant said.
“The way I would define this is to see it as an opportunity,” said Bryant.
Elizabeth Johnson, president of SimpsonScarborough, said the results of the new poll were true to her. SimpsonScarborough sponsored a survey this month which found that one in 10 high school students who planned to go to four-year college before the coronavirus is likely to change direction in the wake of the outbreak, and 4% are very likely to do so.
“Yes, over the years our research has found that the opinions of students and parents rarely differ that much. So it makes a lot of sense to do a sniff test based on what we know about students,” she said. declared.