Friday, February 12, 2021

Lessons Learned (So Far) from Covid-related Online Education

 

Our June 2020 blog post outlined some of the challenges remaining to meet the Straube Foundation’s mission of showing how anyone anywhere can obtain quality education at little or no cost.

 

Now, almost one year into pandemic lockdowns and extensive reliance on online learning, various institutions are surveying students and faculty to find out what worked and what could be improved.  My parent institution, the University of Utah, recently released their online learning survey results.

 

The survey results reflect that students experienced these top challenges:

·      Personal motivation.

·      Lack of clarity about course requirements / learning expectations.

·      Disrupted sleep and activity sequences. (NOTE: this could also have been due to Covid lockdowns, rather than online learning.)

·      Time to dedicate to online classes.

 

Several faculty behaviors were identified as particularly helpful to student success:

·      Being flexible and accommodating.

·      Giving clear instructions for assignments.

·      Providing more student-centered support than usual (e.g., regular announcements and reminders via email and course webpage).

·      Being accessible and available for questions.

 

In response to the survey results, the university is devoting additional resources to two things: 

(1) training faculty in effective online teaching methodology, and

(2) providing more technology to help students and faculty access online learning (classroom technology, wifi hotspots, laptop and wifi loans).

 

In future blog posts, we will continue to explore creative methods for meeting the challenges to universal online learning.  The results of student and faculty surveys such as the one summarized here can provide useful direction as well, especially for course developers and instructors.

 

6 comments:

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Good information on quality education. I must say you have put out a strong post on online teaching. English Grammar is also very important in today's world. Waiting to read your future posts.

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