Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Latent Digital Divides and Its Drivers in E-Learning: Among Bangladeshi Student During COVID-19 Pandemic

Version 1 : Received: 14 June 2021 / Approved: 16 June 2021 / Online: 16 June 2021 (12:48:11 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 29 June 2021 / Approved: 30 June 2021 / Online: 30 June 2021 (12:28:15 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Badiuzzaman, M.; Rafiquzzaman, M.; Rabby, M.I.I.; Rahman, M.M. The Latent Digital Divide and Its Drivers in E-Learning among Bangladeshi Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Information 2021, 12, 287. Badiuzzaman, M.; Rafiquzzaman, M.; Rabby, M.I.I.; Rahman, M.M. The Latent Digital Divide and Its Drivers in E-Learning among Bangladeshi Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Information 2021, 12, 287.

Journal reference: Information 2021, 12, 287
DOI: 10.3390/info12080287

Abstract

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic forced academia to go virtual. Educational institutions around the world have stressed online learning programs in the aftermath of the pandemic. However, because of insufficient access to ICT, a substantial number of students failed to harness the opportunity of online learning. This study explores the latent digital divide exhibited during the COVID-19 pandemic while online learning activities are emphasized among Bangladeshi students. It also investigates the digital divide exposure and the significant underlying drivers of the divide. A cross-sectional survey was employed to collect quantitative data mixed with open-ended questions to collect qualitative information from the student community. The findings revealed that despite the majority of students have physical access to ICT but only 32.5% of students could attend online classes seamlessly, 34.1% of the students reported the data prices as the critical barrier, and 39.8% of students identified the poor network infrastructure is the significant barrier for them to participate in online learning activities. Although most students possess physical access to the device and the Internet, they face the first-level digital divide due to the quality of access and maintaining subscriptions. Consequently, they fail to take advantage of physical access, resulting in the third-level digital divide (Utility Gap) and submerging them into a digital divide cycle. This paper aimed to explore the underlying issues of the digital divide among Bangladeshi students to assist relevant stakeholders (e.g., the Bangladesh government, Educational Institutions, Researchers) in providing the necessary insights and theoretical understanding to arrange adequate support for students to undertake conducive online learning activities.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; Digital Divide; Online Learning; Multi-level Digital Divide

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 30 June 2021
Commenter: MD Badiuzzaman
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The following changed has been done:
# Little change in abstract
# Re-arranged some section
# Corrected some referencing issues
# Re-worded and improve writings.
# Added theoretical explanation of result with a new visual 
# Imporved concussion 
# Some changes in Ackowknowlesgement section 
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