The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has forced online teaching and learning to be the primary instruction format in higher education globally. One of the worrying concerns about online learning is whether this method is effective, specifically when compared to face-to-face classes. This descriptive quantitative study investigates how students in higher education institutions in Hong Kong evaluated their online learning experiences during the pandemic, including the factors influencing their digital learning experiences. By analysing the survey responses from 1,227 university students in Hong Kong, this study found that most of the respondents felt dissatisfied with their online learning experiences and effectiveness. Meanwhile, this study confirms that respondents’ household income level and information technology literacy affected their online learning effectiveness. Moreover, this study highlights the significant contributions of the community of inquiry, which places social presence on the promotion of a whole person development that could not be achieved when relying mainly on online learning. Findings encourage university leaders and instructors to search for multiple course delivery modes to nurture students to become caring leaders with the 21st century skills and knowledge set.
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- COVID-19 and quality education
- Hong Kong higher education
- Online learning
- student competence