In the first week of lockdown, the College reported on how well staff and learners had responded to teaching and learning online. Now, over eight weeks later, the College has confirmation that students themselves have found the experience useful.
The College surveyed 700 learners from across 155 courses on their perceptions of and opinions about how their learning was progressing and had a positive response. Students praised New College staff and their efforts to continue teaching online during physical College closure.
Students were pleased with the software and platforms being used for teaching, learning and communication. These include the College Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and Microsoft Teams, where the online chat function was frequently praised and commented on:
- “I think Teams is the best software they could be using and my particular subject is using it well.”
- “Our lecturer is always there to help us. If we don’t understand something he contacts us through Teams to talk to us.”
They also found that the teaching methods and learning resources made available were clear and helpful:
- “I’m working on a final major project so teachers have set up a OneDrive to upload all our work to and feedback has been given.”
- “My lecturer is doing really detailed PowerPoints and giving us exactly what we need to do and what we need to hand in at the end of the lesson.”
- “Resources have been put on the VLE and are available to practise different skills from previous lessons.”
Students commented on how quickly they received feedback and responses from their lecturers.
One student said: “My lecturer always answers back, any questions – he’s very good. I didn’t understand a question and I took a picture and he explained via email."
- “He responds and is very good. He answers his emails on Saturdays and Sunday. I don’t expect this but I appreciate that.”
- “Feedback is pretty much immediate! I’m feeling that progress is being made.”
One of the concerns that the College has had is how students may be feeling during this strange and difficult period and how it is affecting their health and wellbeing. One student, who confessed that she was feeling de-motivated, stated that she really felt that if needs be, she could talk to her lecturer about how she was feeling. Another commented:
- “He takes his time and he wants to help you. He’s interested in what you are doing and that makes me want to carry on. I always try to work hard – he really motivates me.”
And finally, students commented on how teachers had been trying to liven up their lessons:
- “Our lecturer has been asking students to bring their favourite plant to their taught video sessions, as well as encouraging them to wear a hat or bring their favourite pet or book to class. This has helped to keep us engaged and attending lessons.”