Lessons learned from the Learn!Bio longitudinal reflection on STEM learning before, during, and post pandemic lockdowns.
The start of the national lockdown in March 2020 forced all higher education establishments into Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), campus-based lecturers were left to adapt to virtual teaching methods with no planning, preparation or, in most cases, experience in Online Learning and Teaching (OLT). This study aims to evaluate student perceptions of their learning and associated coping mechanisms as they navigate their way through the changing teaching environments during COVID-19 and then to compare these results with results from the Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 surveys, in effort to improve learning experiences and outcomes.
An anonymous computer-based, feedback-study was carried out using JISC Online Survey software. Study participants were EHU undergraduate biology students enrolled at Levels 4, 5, and 6, in the academic year 2021/2022.
Most respondents stated that they prefer face-to-face lesson delivery (48.5%) or a blended (face to face with online elements) learning approach (48.5%), with few respondents preferring online learning only (0.8%). While in person teaching was preferred, many respondents reported that commuting to university is often a concern, while others stated that there was little worth in attending in person lectures due to lecture recordings being made available online (8.8%).
Respondents rated their learning experience this academic year as good to excellent (91.5%), while only 3.1% of students rated it poor or very poor. However, most respondents (86.9%) believed that remote online learning in previous academic years is now negatively affecting their learning progress.
Overall, the return to face-to-face teaching has been seen positively by students.