Students in Germany Claim They Are Forced to Use Social Media for Study Purposes

Private digital platforms including Facebook, Google and more have been part of students’ learning, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the world and lessons had to shift online.

Yet, these platforms are not students’ choice at all and are not very desirable among them as well, a survey published by the Hochschulforum Digitisierung (HFD), a think tank focusing on higher education in the digital age, has revealed.

Almost half of over 10,000 student participants in the survey said that they were obliged to use these services for study purposes, and the majority of them claimed they would prefer other alternatives, Erudera College News reports.

According to survey’s findings, every second student has used Facebook and Dropbox for their studies during the online semesters, nearly two thirds or 65 per cent of students said they had used WhatsApp, 41 per cent used the Google services Drive and Doc, whereas four per cent said they used Instagram.

The survey was drafted by Alexa Böckel, in spring 2019 as part of a student working group at HFD. According to Böckel, the nation-wide, user-friendly, data protection-compliant solutions should be offered so students will not be dependent on private providers.

Nevertheless, the results have shown that there are a lot of students who want to help their universities in shaping digitization at institutions. Authors of the survey consider that universities should start involving students more as constructive and creative designers.

This month, a study carried out by the German Center for University and Science Research (DZHW) has shown that the majority of students in Germany are satisfied with lessons taking place remotely.

In financial terms, due to the crisis caused by Coronavirus, students in Germany have also expressed concerns over job opportunities, another student study carried out by the consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) for the German Press Agency has unveiled.

In order to help out students amid pandemic, several higher education institutions across Germany have established funds through which they offer financial support to the affected students, among them, universities in North Rhine-Westphalia as well.

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