Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 24
2021-03-01 発行

To Zoom or Not to Zoom: Privacy Concerns and Students’ Attitude Towards Interactive Online Learning

Zoomすべきか否か : プライバシーの逆説と双方向オンライン学習に対する学生の態度
In unprecedented times, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, educational institutions were required to rapidly adapt to a ‘new normal’ where classes metamorphosed from a traditional classroom setting to one set in the digital sphere. Interactive online learning has become the new conduit for educators and learners and words such as ‘zoom’ became more commonly used as a proper noun rather than a verb. Yet in the rush to create a learning environment that was safe, convenient and pedagogically sound, were student privacy concerns overlooked? Has students’ privacy been sacrificed for the need to quickly move classes online? This paper shows the results of a survey conducted at a national university in Japan which analysed student responses as to whether their privacy was being unnecessarily infringed by online classes. The results showed that students remained wary of an untoward invasion into their privacy whilst participating in online classes but were not overwhelmingly concerned by the use of live-streaming videoconferencing. Yet, the survey also indicated that if online classes were to become a permanent addition to their university timetable, then students indicated a wish for clearly defined privacy policy parameters to be adopted.
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