Marginalization, Technology Access and Study Approaches of Undergraduate Distance Learners during Covid-19 Pandemic in India




marginalization, technology access, online learning, approaches to study, distance students, open and distance learning


The Covid-19 pandemic, for the past years, had led to disruption of classroom activities and adoption of online teaching-learning in almost all parts of the globe, including India.  Sudden switch over from the classroom blackboard to the laptop screen may have influenced study approaches of students especially when there were challenges for access to technology and non-readiness for online learning among the Indian students. Since different social and economic factors bring differences in students’ learning, an online survey was conducted with 296 randomly selected undergraduate distance learning (DL) students of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to examine how technology access during the pandemic has influenced study approach of Indian DL students belonging to different marginalized and non-marginalized groups. The research results showed that marginalized students had lower access to technology than their non-marginalized counterparts, although no gender differences were found in access to technology in both the groups. Lower access to technology was found associated with more surface approach to study in the DL students in general and the marginalized students in particular. The marginalized females were found at risk in terms of both, access to technology and approaches to study. The findings, as discussed, are intended to further enrich our understanding of the role of technology vis-à-vis study approach of distance learning students during the pandemic, and formulate appropriate teaching-learning strategies for the future.

Author Biography

Anju Sanwal, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Anju Sanwal is a PhD Scholar at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (STRIDE). She submitted her thesis in the discipline of "Distance Education" under the guidance of renowned distance educator Professor Santosh Panda of STRIDE (IGNOU). During her PhD, she published five research papers in refereed journals and also contributed to three book chapters.


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How to Cite

Sanwal, A. (2024). Marginalization, Technology Access and Study Approaches of Undergraduate Distance Learners during Covid-19 Pandemic in India. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 25(2), 1–19.



Research Articles