Corona transition and student learning

What works, what doesn’t work, and what needs improvement?

SHORT DESCRIPTION

The Corona transition at TU/e led to an abrupt and very fundamental change in the form of teaching and student learning. All interaction has shifted to online. This has consequences for student learning and staff teaching that we should monitor closely and improve wherever possible.

There certainly are reasons to act now. We lack detailed knowledge about how students experience the new form of learning and what problems they face. A first TU/e student survey of courses at the end of Q3 suggests that many students did not feel well-prepared for their exams, given forms and content of online teaching as offered in Q3. This is likely only the tip of the iceberg of problems that we can respond to quickly if we have reliable and representative information. We don’t know to what extent students suffer from issues such as a reduced learning motivation and engagement, how these problems relate to different forms of online learning, or to their housing situation (imposing constraints on learning), or to mental health issues because of feelings of isolation. Problems may accumulate during the next coming months with a potential downward spiral of reduced motivation, and the high failure rates that go with it. The existing monitoring measures (Q4 course evaluations, end-of-year curriculum survey) do not suffice.

OBJECTIVE

Given these uncertainties about the educational consequences of the Corona-induced course changes, we aim to find out the following:

A) To what extent do students experience drawbacks in their learning outcomes (including reduced affective and cognitive outcomes) as well as in their mental well-being.

B) Which course elements and student characteristics (e.g., housing) relate to these undesirable outcomes and which elements relate to desirable outcomes?

STRONG POINTS

We translate these insights into recommendations for educational adjustments.