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New research — COVID-19 online learning landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and challenges

A study released today has found that the rapid shift to teaching and learning online in universities (emergency remote delivery — ERD) has created new, and magnified existing, barriers to educational participation for culturally and linguistically diverse migrant and/or refugee (CALDMR) communities.

The research team, led by Sally Baker from the University of New South Wales, spoke to student-facing support staff who noted that the move to ERD was so rapid and unprecedented that many stakeholders, including specialists with knowledge of equity cohorts including CALDMR groups, were largely absent from the decision making process.

Research findings indicated many CALDMR students were not equipped for the sudden shift to online learning and virtual classrooms. Many factors negatively impacted outcomes for students, including: finances, mental health and wellbeing, living and learning environments, ability to access computers and the internet, and ability to access support services via institutions.

The team provided recommendations for universities, including:

  • Provide emergency funding to create nuanced resources for CALDMR students.
  • Establish better methods of identifying and interacting with CALDMR students once they are engaged in higher education.
  • Provide targeted support through dedicated staff, engagement programs and teaching/learning resources.

Read the full report, COVID-19 online learning landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and challenges

This research was conducted under the NCSEHE Research Grants Program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Posted 1 March 2022 Posted in Culturally and linguistically diverse, General, Migrants / refugees