We are excited to share initial analysis of data collected as part of our on-going research into university student experiences of online learning during covid19. A huge thank you to all student participants. If you are a fellow higher educator, we hope this report helps inform and guide your design of future online learning experiences. The report is also featured on the Ipu Kererū (New Zealand Association for Research in Education) blog.
It is unsurprising that over the past few months discussions amongst colleagues in the tertiary sector have focused on the disruption of COVID in our academic lives. There is no doubt that this has been a stressful year and has impacted on our wellness, sense of security (and belongingness) at our institutions, workload and work-life balance. In our various roles we have grappled with emergency remote learning and teaching (ERLT) in our own lives, those of our colleagues and our students. However, despite everyone’s best endeavors, it is somewhat ironic that it is those most directly affected – the students- whose voices are generally missing from conversations in the academy. Recognising this problem, a group of colleagues in Aotearoa, New Zealand came together to explore Students Online Learning Experiences (SOLE) during the pandemic. Our personal experiences as teachers, academic developers, educational designers, researchers, and for some of us also parents, gave us lived experiences of how students were grappling with learning. Our research is not institutionally focused. Rather we have collaborated with student associations to survey students from all eight New Zealand universities (yielding 1144 responses), complemented by over 22 online focus groups. This research project has enabled us to connect with students from NZ universities both on and offshore, gaining an understanding of their concerns, hopes and experiences. Whilst we are still in the preliminary phase of analysis, what is clear to us, as we plan for 2021, is that we must ensure that students’ voices are adequately represented in our responses and recovery.
Five university researchers have rolled out an online survey for tertiary students aimed at gathering information on what worked and what was most challenging about learning online under coronavirus stay-at-home orders. Check out the full article in stuff.co.nz
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