A Jisc survey of 27,069 higher and further education students reveals that most are pleased with their digital learning, but areas such as wellbeing, mental health and staff digital skills need more attention.
Between October and December 2020, 21,697 higher education (HE) students and 5,372 in further education (FE) took part in Jisc’s digital experience insights student survey. The surveys seek to support the sector in adapting and responding to the changing situation as a result of COVID–19 policies.
Identifying negative aspects of remote learning, students reported challenges such as technical issues, difficulty concentrating, unsuitable study environments, isolation, wellbeing and mental health issues to name a few.
To tackle these challenges, learners want colleges and universities to:
- Get the basics right – this includes wifi (on campus and elsewhere), reliable hardware and software, clear navigation to learning content, timetabling and session scheduling, audio and lighting of online sessions
- Make learning sessions more interactive
- Record lessons and make them available soon after delivery to aid personal learning preferences, revision and catch up
- Train and support lecturers to use online tools in a pedagogically sound and inclusive way
- Think about the pace of delivery (too fast/too slow) and consider shorter bursts with regular breaks
- Create opportunities to talk to/ask questions of lecturers and fellow learners, and give timely individual and group support
- Improve communication – reminders of when sessions were going to start, when assignments were due, an accessible list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
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