This is an interim report on an investigation into the psychological and social problems in online campus life at online-only universities.
The immediate goal of this research is to search for an effective communication platform for the online campus at the Tokyo Online University (TOU), which has opened its doors to student in April, 2018. In order to support interactions among students, it opened an intra-SNS system last summer. However, only a fifth of registered students have created accounts so far, and it has already experienced some harassment incidents. It has not met our expectation to connect students comfortably and create a dynamic online campus.
In fact, our investigation has found that this is not an isolated problem. Online technologies to connect people, such as SNS, virtual campuses using avatars, and MOOC(Massive Open Online Courses), have been applied to university campuses but they have followed a similar pattern. Each of them was touted as an innovation for distant education by connecting students around the world, and media and research articles reported its effectiveness in its early stage, but the expectations did not materialize eventually.
Our hypothesis is that there is a common “humanizing” factor that is lacking in these attempts. In order to reveal the underlying common psychological and human aspect of online campuses, we are currently completing a questionnaire and interview survey at TOU and would like to report our findings at the conference.
We believe that our research results will help other online-only universities as well.
Hiromi Oda, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Noriyuki Enomoto, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Keisuke Kawashima, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Mizuho Imahashi, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Noritaka Fujita, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Toshimitsu Shigemura, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Hiroshi Nakamura, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Kanae Mori, Tokyo Online University, Japan
This paper is part of the SEACE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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