Menu Close

JointHealth™ insight: Special Edition – June 2020

Illustration of a student studying at a desk

Challenges faced by students with inflammatory arthritis in an online learning environment

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, post-secondary institutions across Canada began the transition from in-person classes to online education. Some of Canada’s largest universities have announced that this model of education will continue into the fall semester, with the majority of classes being taught online and selected smaller classes delivered in-person.

Overall, the expansion of online learning offers exciting opportunities for improving the accessibility of post-secondary education even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. However, students living with chronic disease, such as inflammatory arthritis (IA), will experience unique challenges that run the risk of going unnoticed and require thoughtful solutions from post-secondary schools and their disability support centres.

This special edition of JointHealth™ insight outlines challenges from the perspective of students living with IA related to self-advocacy and performance expectations in online learning environments. It is informed by current research as well as input from community members with IA who currently attend university and concludes with recommendations on how to address these issues.