University of Wisconsin Extended Campus is now Wisconsin Online Collaboratives! This name reflects the partnerships of the 13 universities within the Universities of Wisconsin–our state's premier system of public higher education. Through these partnerships we will continue to support online degrees, certificates and courses–along with support services to you.

Capstone Projects

Effectiveness in Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning in the Setting of COVID-19 (A Case Study)

Program: Data Science Master's
Location: Not Specified (remote)
Student: Lu Xu

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a series of lockdown and social distancing that promoted societal changes including work from home and online learning. The rapid transition of the world’s students to online learning has been met with difficulties from both instructors and learners. We aim to understand the impact of COVID-19 on current education system and compare the efficacy of in person versus distance learning. Through exploratory data including student surveys in Malaysia as well as U.S. Census Bureau Pulse Survey for COVID-19, sentiment analysis of Twitter regarding distance learning, and student performance metrics by NWEA, we display that distance learning overall is not inferior to in person learning but suffers in access to education as determined by socioeconomic factors, increased psychological strain on students, and lower representation of minority students. We hope that further research with more expansive datasets will better help us understand the cumulative effects of COVID-19 on the education system and the future trajectory of in person versus distance learning.