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THEME: Teaching during COVID-19

Newsletter February 2021 - Teaching during COVID-19

COVID-19 has without a doubt changed the setting and conditions of teaching at higher education programmes. In this month’s newsletter, you can read about three different studies on teaching during the COVID-19 lockdown along with an interview with a teacher, who used Flipped Learning to engage her students. A broad range of educational institutions and participants are covered between the three studies.

How students experienced teaching during the COVID-19 lockdown – a study from University of Copenhagen

The study Experiences and challenges of students during the 2020 campus lockdown examines how students at the University of Copenhagen has experienced teaching during the lockdown. The study finds that the restructuring of teaching has had extensive consequences and that it will take time and resources to fully understand them. A large number of students experienced motivational issues, and more students experienced loneliness, anxiety and stress than before the lockdown. However, the restructuring of teaching has also brought opportunities with it: In general, the students in the study were pleased with being able to revisit recordings of lessons and online-based group work.

Online teaching at nine higher educational institutions

The newly published study Experiences with online teaching at 9 higher educational institutions in the spring of 2020 (in Danish) mirrors the study of the University of Copenhagen in highlighting that the restructured teaching requires us to rethink things like participation and communication. Furthermore, the study shows that technical challenges are a part of the restructuring and that technical, didactic, organisational, and administrative support is required, when teachers are to restructure their classes. Another important finding of the study is that students experience a significant drop in learning outcome and that 70% of teachers find less joy in teaching during the lockdown. You can read a summary of the findings here (in Danish).

Experience from the University of Southern Denmark

The study Experiences from Online Teaching during the COVID-19 lockdown of the University of Southern Denmark (in Danish) also concludes that the majority of teachers have needed sparring and support in restructuring their teaching. Across the institutions, the restructuring of teaching has been challenging to interactions with students. Furthermore, this study also shows that many students have been less motivated during the restructuring. Another important point in the study is that the lockdown has resulted in a polarisation of students, as skilled students have thrived during the lockdown while weaker students experienced a decline in their motivation. Furthermore, the lockdown has hit new students harder than more experienced students. However, the study also concludes that in spite of these numerous challenges, the experience of restructuring the teaching has also brought with it some opportunities – for example in relation to using flipped and blended learning.

The three studies clearly show that the restructuring of teaching has been a didactic, technical and administrative challenge, and that it has been a major challenge to the students’ motivational levels. However, the studies also point towards the pedagogical potentials of flipped and blended learning beyond the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Great Example - Teaching with Flipped Learning

Marit Carolin Clausen has used Flipped Learning to engage students during the lockdown in a course, where the practical teaching form was challenged by the limited possibilities of using a physical classroom. Marit’s way of teaching turned out to be very rewarding for the students.

Read the article

Editing was completed: 23.02.2021