In today’s case study we asked, ‘How do you think the pandemic has affected the quality of teaching at university?’ Thank you to everyone who took part!
How do you think the pandemic has affected the quality of teaching at university?
Caitlin, 20, 2nd year studying Accounting and Business – ‘The pandemic has positively impacted lectures however group work and seminars have definitely got worse’
Maya, 21, 3rd year studying Graphic Communication Design – ‘The quality has gone downhill. I understand it was difficult for us to get access to the resources and regular teaching, however I’ve struggled massively both with projects and my mental health.’
Niamh, 21, 3rd year studying Musical Theatre – ‘Due to the nature of my course, the practical singing side has been more difficult to do online due to audio issues, so it’s hard for both lecturer and students. You can tell lecturers are stressed as well as us students, it’s a lot harder to connect with teaching through a screen rather than a tangible space. As there have been multiple lockdowns, going from being in the room to online has been troubling, as we nor the lecturers have really known what is going on, this of course affects their teaching plans which questions the quality despite it not being their fault.’
Sian, 20, 3rd year studying History – ‘It has affected the quality of teaching as we have been unable to have in-person sessions and have as good as debates and discussions around different topics with our lecturers (compared to in-person). Online learning has resulted in a lot of questions and answers rather than having detailed discussions about things.’
Emily G, 22, 4th year studying Criminal Justice and Public Policy – ‘The pandemic made teaching quality significantly worse. Nowhere near the same quality of education I got for my first three years of my undergrad. Upsetting that this is how I finished my degree.’
Elisabeth, 20, 3rd year studying Media – ‘I think for my course the quality of teaching has stayed the same, the content put out to us is still useful and of similar quality. But it has been harder because of other issues like my wifi not always working and I am not as likely to ask questions after lectures for example.’
Allison, 21, 1st year studying Marketing – ‘It has definitely been affected! For me, online classes have been amazing in terms of support and understanding from all my lecturers but it’s honestly just not for me. I know that if I could, I would be supported properly.’
Gatha, 23, final year studying Languages and Linguistics – ‘Language teaching has gone downhill, a lot less interactive with weird assessment methods…’
Lauren, 22, 3rd year studying English Language – ‘The levels of engagement just aren’t the same as if we were in physical uni. I’ve found myself in so many silent breakout rooms, meaning I never feel like I am getting anywhere in discussing what we are asked to. If we were in physical uni and asked to discuss something, people wouldn’t completely ignore each other (I’d like to think, anyway. A good breakout room is pure luck.’
How have you adapted to online learning/ how has your course changed?
Ryan, 22, 2nd year studying Therapeutic Recreation – ‘I’ve got away from my cavemen style and started typing my notes’
Libby, 21, 3rd year studying English Language – ‘Initially I found it difficult. Now I enjoy working at my own pace and planning my time to my personal needs. I have developed independence in learning.’
Kendall, 22, Senior year studying Multimedia Film and Production – ‘Not being able to go to class is harder on the class but I enjoy staying in bed.’
Lauren, 20, 3rd year studying Sciences – ‘Had to learn to be disciplined with myself during online lectures – requires much more concentration to stay focused! Being online has however allowed me to be more in control of my timetable – where lectures are pre-recorded I can view these at my leisure, which has freed up time for coursework. The few important practical sessions for my course this year have been virtual, these have worked well but nothing beats being able to perform the practical yourself to fully understand what’s going on.’
Hunter, 22, 3rd year studying Nursing – ‘I have maladapted, developed worsening study habits.’
Tom, 20, 3rd year studying Events Management – ‘I’ve had to buy a desk as I found it difficult studying in bed all day as there is no where for me to study. The course hasn’t changed much except there’s less activities or things to keep students engaged… it’s just a lecturer talking for 4 hours straight.’
Jess, 20, 2nd year studying Psychology with Dance and Movement Studies (joint degree) – ‘The psychology aspect of my degree has meant that exams for my course got changed to essay based assessment. The dance side has completely changed. Having to work online, there was less practical activities and more theory based work which I felt took away from the whole point of doing a practical/dance degree. This has slowly improved with being allowed back onto site but it did affect the course last year and last semester.’
Sian, 20, 3rd year studying History – ‘I have adapted well but it hasn’t been without its struggles. My course has adapted well given this was a completely different situation no one expected to be in. My course has tried to make the modules as engaging as possible despite it being online.’
Bria, 22, 1st year studying Mental Health Nursing – ‘Despite preferring to be physically in university, I’m handling online learning okay, it’s just the lack of motivation as it doesn’t seem real to me when it’s all online…I feel it’s been too laid back and ‘easy’ in some way.’
What aspect of online learning have you found most difficult?
Katelyn, 21, final year studying Forensic Accounting – ‘Being able to motivate myself to do assignments and turn up for seminars, which is super vital in my final year!’
Lauren, 22, 3rd year studying English Language – ‘Motivation – Keeping up motivation is difficult when you are restricted with things you can do after you’ve finished uni work. I used to think of a night out or going out with friends etc as a reward for completing getting what I needed to get done, which acted as a motivator to get the task(s) done.’
Tahlia, 21, 3rd year studying International Relations and Politics – ‘Engaging with seminars. I suffer with anxiety and online learning makes participation difficult when I can’t always see the faces of the people I’m speaking with’
Fatima, 21, final year studying International Finance – ‘I think the only frustrating part of online learning is when you face problems with your WiFi, as it’s a common excuse for students, so it’s hard to be accepted by the teachers.’
Julia, 22, 4th year studying Software engineering – ‘After the transition to online classes it seemed like professors had no regards for anyone’s class schedules; they simply moved classes to different times and even different days convenient to them without consulting students. I’ve had a lot of instances where profs ask their students to watch a pre-recorded lecture before the official lecture hour, leaving the lecture hour for discussion. Again, this feels disrespectful to my schedule, because now i have to find time to do this additional thing. Finally, some professors expect way too much of us, as if removing the 15-minute commute to campus suddenly freed up 15 hours of my life.’
Chloe, 19, 1st year studying Occupational Therapy – ‘I find it difficult to keep up with the changes to timetables as it could be the day before a lecture that the times get changed.’
Lauren, 20, 3rd year studying Sciences – ‘Not having as easy access to the library and academic staff, particularly when writing coursework – feel a bit detached from the normal university experience at times but that is to be expected when we can’t physically be there!’
Jess, 20, 2nd year studying Psychology with Dance and Movement Studies (joint degree) – ‘Trying to do a practical course over a webcam in your living room.’
Libby, 21, 3rd year studying English Language – ‘Lack of face-to-face communication means that learning isn’t as thorough. I rely on face-to-face conversations to fully understand concepts that I am unsure of.’