Best practices for supporting student experiential learning in an online environment during emergency situations: lessons from Covid 19 pandemic response (2020)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherVictoria University of Wellington Library
Background: In 2020, nearly four weeks into the first semester of the academic year, the University of Canterbury (UC) in Christchurch, New Zealand, transitioned to online delivery of all teaching in response to the nation-wide lockdown due to Covid-19. With 48 hours’ notice, all on-campus activities ceased and were replaced with lectures delivered live via Zoom or recycled from previous delivery, and simulated, or otherwise facilitated, practical experiences. Assessments were temporarily halted, then resumed over a more compressed timetable with online and “take home” activities largely replacing traditional invigilated assessments. Purpose: Our research explored the challenges and successes of UC’s fast transition to online learning, with a particular emphasis on understanding the impact of the loss of face-to-face delivery on practical experiences normally delivered through laboratory and field activities. Our goal was to develop a set of best practices to improve our response to future emergency situations. Methods: A two-part survey was electronically distributed to students enrolled in a 4-year engineering programme and a 3-year sport coaching programme at the University of Canterbury. Results: While students strongly appreciated efforts of lecturers and tutors to support their learning, differences in communication approaches affected student experience both positively and negatively. A clear need for two-way communication as well as consistency and clarity in messaging were key findings. A general dissatisfaction with replacement practical activities was expressed, demonstrating a need for contingency measures to be in place to mitigate the impact of future disruptive events on practical learning. Efforts to manage online assessment of learning were generally well received, even in a compressed timeframe, though several unhelpful practices were highlighted. Students also identified many positive aspects of their learning experiences, including live tutorials and made-for-purpose video presentations
CitationMunro D, Clarke J Best practices for supporting student experiential learning in an online environment during emergency situations. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education. 26. 141-152.
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KeywordsCovid-19; distance learning; student experience; experiential learning; assessment
ANZSRC Fields of Research39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390303 - Higher education
39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390102 - Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390405 - Educational technology and computing
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390403 - Educational administration, management and leadership
RightsAll rights reserved unless otherwise stated
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