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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Suddenly Online: How Russian Students Switched to Distance Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Russian public universities went fully online in the middle of March 2020. Many classes began to be taught remotely, some of them were replaced by online courses or postponed till the fall of 2020. These events significantly changed students’ lives and learning experiences. Based on survey data from more than 18,000 undergraduate students across the country, we revealed that the most common difficulties students face during distance learning are a poor Internet connection, a lack of interactions with peers and faculty, insufficient self-regulated learning skills, and lack of a convenient place to study at home. These problems are more common for students from families with low income, those who believe that distance learning is less effective than face-to-face learning, and first-year students. However, a third of students preferred distance learning to face-to-face. The results show that the employed, computer science students, students who believe in the effectiveness of online learning, those who experience fewer difficulties during distance learning, and those satisfied with the way that their university arranged the distance format are more likely to prefer distance learning over face-to-face learning in the future.