Social media and the press have been full of stories about how the sudden shift to remote learning due to COVID-19 is affecting parents and teachers. There’s a lot to unpack there and we’re going to talk about it a bit at the bottom of this post, too. But we haven’t seen as much discussion of the way this new reality is affecting students. Our mission at Quizlet has always been to help students succeed.
So, to find out how everyone is doing, we sent a survey to Quizlet users in late April. We were interested to learn how high school and college students are feeling about going back to school in the fall. We surveyed 1,995 college students and 2,750 high school students. Here is what they said.
When asked how they were feeling about the 2020-21 school year, about 69 percent of high school students and nearly 59 percent of college students said they were more excited for the fall semester than they were in 2019.
About 75 percent of high school students and 65 percent of college students were certain that in-person classes would resume at the start of the school year. (We love that positive spirit – keep it up!)
When asked about their biggest concerns for the school year, college students were roughly evenly split among three worries: academics (about 33 percent noted this as their top concern), paying for school (about 25 percent), and staying healthy (about 28 percent). They were less concerned with taking care of family and making and maintaining friendships and relationships.
Among high schoolers, about 44 percent noted that academics were their primary concern for the 2020-21 school year, with health concerns in second place at about 26 percent, followed by finances and social concerns.
Students were asked what they were most looking forward to in the 2020-21 school year. In both groups, “getting to see my friends on campus again” was the most popular answer.
We are pumped to see optimism and excitement from a majority of survey respondents when talking about education in the fall, and we are also cautiously waiting to see what the new school year will look like. It’s too soon to tell definitively, as most schools in the U.S. and around the world are closed.
What can we expect for fall 2020?
Educators aren’t sure what the fall will look like, but it seems that nobody is predicting school-as-usual. Possible scenarios include only a part-time return to the campus, with staggered days of physical attendance interspersed with online learning at home so reduce the number of people in the building at once.
Though community college leaders are also unsure what COVID-19 will mean for the fall semester, many are preparing for the increase in enrollment that they often see following an economic decline in the country. USA Today reported that some administrators anticipate that, if learning continues remotely in the fall, more students who would ordinarily go to a four-year university will choose to enroll in community college instead, to save money.
We are all looking forward to getting back to school in the fall, but high schoolers are more optimistic than college students about whether or not campuses will reopen by then.
More high school students than college students consider academics their top concern for the fall, but academics still ranks as the overall top concern in both groups.
And, not surprisingly, everyone is missing their friends – seeing friends again is the top thing that both groups are looking forward to for fall.
Educators are adapting to the remote learning environment as time passes. No one is sure what the fall semester will look like, but most believe that even if in-person classes resume, we will still be practicing some form of social distancing that will change the way schools operate.
No matter what happens, Quizlet is committed to helping students and teachers get through this time.
How do you feel about going back to school in the fall?
Leave a comment below. 😊