A Boon or A Curse: E-learning and Students’ Learning Preferences

  • Joseph W. C. LAU
Keywords: coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, e-learning, curriculum delivery, student social identity, learning motivation


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about drastic changes to the ecology of teaching and learning across the globe. In Hong Kong, while classes at tertiary education institutions have been intermittently suspended, e-learning has been normalized as equivalent, if not preferable, to face-to-face instruction. It is controversial as to whether e-learning is an effective tool for teaching and learning. Concerns have arisen over the possibility that e-learning practices will be codified in the post-pandemic era. This study investigates student preferences in curriculum delivery and learning styles in tertiary education settings. Eighteen graduates at local tertiary institutions were interviewed; the data collected were transcribed and thematically analyzed. It is discovered that students prefer curricula and learning styles that emphasize people as the primary focus, including collaboration, communication, and interactivity. Students’ preferences are compared to the contemporary state of e-learning, and recommendations to improve e-learning in tertiary education are made.