Online exams specialist Studyclix has been busy dispensing expert media opinion and commentary since the Covid-19 lockdown shut all of Ireland’s schools.
With confusion surrounding the fate of the Leaving Cert exams and people struggling with the complexity of new homeschooling regimes, Studyclix also commissioned a special survey to gauge the views of students.
Studyclix.ie is Ireland’s largest study website with 210,000 registered secondary school users and 29,000 registered secondary school teachers, giving it unrivalled insight into the thoughts and behaviours of its users.
It asked over 2,000 6th Year students for their opinions on the lockdown, exams stresses and learning from home and found that patchy broadband and connectivity was a major issue for students who are grappling with online learning.
The student survey also revealed that one in eight students had a poor internet connection. This figure rose in rural areas with 28% of Co. Kerry students reporting poor broadband; 23% in Co. Offaly and 16% in Co. Mayo.
Students were also heavily divided over the decision to hold this year’s State Exams in July or August, with more than 50% of students saying the exams should have been cancelled and predictive grades awarded.
The media was quick to seize on the findings: ‘Almost half of Leaving Cert students felt exams should be cancelled amid coronavirus crisis – new survey’ was the headline in the Irish Independent. The story also garnered the interests of broadcasters, including a live morning interview with Studyclix founder Luke Saunders on Todayfm’s Dermot & Dave Show.
The story was also covered by many others including the Irish Daily Star, The Corkman, the Offaly Topic, Radio Kerry, WLR in Waterford, Newstalk and The Herald.
The study also showed 62% of students were spending more than FOUR hours a day on their smartphones. This is compared to last year’s survey when just 30% reporting spending more than four hours a day on smartphones.
Separately, Studyclix’s expansion in to Australia was the subject of a Sunday Business Post news story on April 12 under the headline ‘Studyclix signs up fifth of schools in Australian state’.