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Youth Experiences of Online Learning During COVID-19: Perspectives From TikTok

Mon, April 12, 2:50 to 4:20pm EDT (2:50 to 4:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Online Teaching and Learning Paper and Symposium Sessions


Social media, and especially popular youth-focused platforms like TikTok, can offer a valuable window into youth experiences, including their perceptions of online learning. Building on a large-scale qualitative analysis of 1,930 TikTok videos, this study examines how young people experienced the transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings indicate that youth found online coursework overwhelming and relentless against the traumatic background of the pandemic. Students’ personal contexts and home environments emerged as particularly salient, making visible the intersections between young people’s home, school and social lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this bottom-up understanding of young people’s perceptions, challenges and concerns, we can derive actionable implications for more equitable and empowering educational opportunities looking ahead.