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Digital Divide and Digital Barriers in Distance Education during COVID-19

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Title:Digital Divide and Digital Barriers in Distance Education during COVID-19
Authors:Gan, Isabel
Sun, Rui
Keywords:Addressing Diversity in Digitalization
digital barrier
digital divide
distance education
show 1 moreunderserved minority population
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Date Issued:05 Jan 2021
Abstract:Digital divide exists between the underserved student population and their peers, yet our knowledge about digital barriers and digital divide in distance education remains limited. In this study, we examine digital divide and digital barriers in distance education in the context of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) by addressing two questions: (1) What digital barriers are emerging in distance education during COVID-19? (2) Do underserved students experience digital barriers differently from their peers? Informed by distance education and digital divide literature, this study uses qualitative research method to analyze survey data collected from 206 college students in a four-year public university in the United States. Results revealed five major digital barriers and showed that the distribution of these digital barriers varied by demographic background and socioeconomic status of the students. Practical implications are provided to educators and policymakers to implement equity-minded teaching practices and enhance digital inclusion of the underserved student population in distance education.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Addressing Diversity in Digitalization

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