Identifying Challenges Affecting Computer Science Students During Remote Education

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för datavetenskap och medieteknik (DVMT)

Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019 many businesses and institutions had to start pivoting to remote work and remote studying. Remote work and studying has the ability to significantly alter the way that people are used to carry out their work or studies and, in many cases, have done exactly that. Although the area of remote work and remote studying have been explored and researched on prior to this, the scale at which these changes have taken place and the number of people that are affected is unprecedented. This study aims to identify and understand the technological challenges that university students within computer science experience after having gone through this change of environment. This study also aims to understand and identify what the consequences of these challenges are and how they could be solved or mitigated. To find out what these challenges and their consequences are, this study uses a series of semi-structured interviews with students. Through this series of interviews this paper identifies a range of different challenges belonging to previously identified areas of technological challenges such as internet connectivity, communication software, VPN software, and hardware limitations. The interviews also brought forward technological challenges outside of these areas and allowed the participants to explain in detail what consequences these challenges have had on their remote education and to offer their personal opinions on how these challenges and consequences can be solved. A questionnaire was also sent out to students at Malmö University in order to gain further information regarding both social and technological challenges. The interviews and questionnaire carried out in this study and their results can serve as a foundation for further research and to be of help for individuals, institutions or businesses who are interested in the topic of remote education concerning computer science. Through the questionnaire and interviews carried out in this study it is clear that the majority of challenges that computer science students face are social in nature, although technological challenges still exist. The results of the questionnaire in particular also led to the troubling finding that a majority of students believe that the quality of their education has worsened as a result of remote education. The study also provides a number of recommendations and possible solutions to these challenges

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