Gender Differences in Perceptions and Attitudes of Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study in University Students


The aim of the study was to examine perceptions of male and female students towards online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted at four universities in Tyrol (Austria). In addition to age and gender, participants reported their level of agreement with thematically relevant items using a four-part Likert scale (1 = completely disagree to 4 = completely agree). The reliability of the questionnaire was checked using Cronbach's alpha and gender-specific differences were examined via Mann-Whitney U test. The level of significance was p ≤ 0.05. Results: A total of 236 students (63.6% female) completed the questionnaire. Around three quarters of those surveyed were of the opinion that their university was poorly prepared for the challenges of online teaching at the beginning of the pandemic, but that digital teaching improved as the pandemic progressed. Compared to their male colleagues, female students rated the workload at the beginning of the pandemic higher, complained more about poorer home office conditions, had greater difficulties in using new software programs and obtaining study-relevant literature (p < 0.05). Female students agreed more frequently than male students that additional training of their own media skills and media didactic training for teachers was needed (p < 0.001). Insufficient transformation of certain course content and lack of clarity on assignments were criticized by around half of the students. Furthermore, over 90% of the students stated that they missed the contact with their fellow students. Conclusions: The results of this study support the need for improvements in the field of distance learning in order to mitigate the negative effects of online learning on study life and learning success of university students, especially women.


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How to Cite

Greier, K., Drenowatz, C., & Sappl, A. (2022). Gender Differences in Perceptions and Attitudes of Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study in University Students. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 3(2), 153–158.

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