Online Learning Week One
March 30, 2020
What was the experience like for students?
Overall, students expressed a very positive experience with online learning. In fact, many found that class participation increased as a result of the chat feature and the ability to see everyone’s faces simultaneously. While some students reported minor issues with the technology, most found Webex easy to use and reported that it worked well for them.
What was the experience like for faculty and other instructors?
Many instructors expressed surprise at how smoothly their classes transitioned to the online format and showed gratitude for the assistance of IT and the Office of Digital Learning for the support that eased the transition. Some noted the challenges of teaching online: the loss of “presence” and dealing with technological glitches. These instructors saw room for improvement in adjusting to the technology and adjusting their teaching methods for the online environment.
What were some recurring issues?
The most common problems involved audio issues, often related to slow or unstable internet connections. Instructors and students also encountered trouble with versions of Webex that do not have a full feature set. For example, the website version does now allow users to raise their hands or pin people like the desktop application does. Features for the mobile app are even more limited.
What have we learned, and where do we go from here?
Our strategy – prioritize preparation and offer ongoing support – is working! Social distancing doesn’t mean the end of active community engagement. Our community has come together to support this transition in an incredible way! IT is working to address recurring problems and will continue to offer support; instructors will continue to be attentive to their students and support meaningful learning as we move through this challenging time.