External Stressors and Time Poverty among Online Students: An Exploratory Study

Claire Wladis, Alyse C. Hachey, Katherine M. Conway
2020 EDEN Conference Proceedings  
In this exploratory study, we report results from interviews with 49 students at a large public urban university in the US who enrolled in at least one course online. In line with the literature, many students cited work or family reasons for enrolling in an online course. However, when asked at the end of the interview whether there were any other life events that impacted the time and energy that they had for their studies, 73% of the students cited at least one additional external stressor,
more » ... nd many of them cited up to three or four different categories of external stressors. These included illness/disability, death in the family, caretaking responsibilities, and housing instability, among others. One particularly striking result is that 89% of the external stressors reported by students in response to the final questions of the interview had not been volunteered by students when they were originally asked why they enrolled online or what factors impacted their course outcomes – this suggests that the prevalence of these more complex environmental factors may go underreported in studies that do not ask about them explicitly.
doi:10.38069/edenconf-2020-ac0015 fatcat:w4ze4mxvqbaival25qlmepgqoy