Online teaching made students ‘less anxious’ during the pandemic, study claims

Now they’re considering a move to online teaching permanently

Some universities are claiming that students have been less anxious during the pandemic – now they’re suggesting online learning should be permanent.

Some vice-chancellors want to continue and even expand digital tests, lectures and tutorials despite the lifting of Covid rules.

Universities UK, the umbrella group for vice-chancellors, held discussions with 13 member institutions about “plans to permanently change teaching” and assessments which do “not have to happen in an exam hall”, according to the MailOnline.

These unnamed universities are already considering how to incorporate the measures from this academic year – which could see students “alternating” between online and in-person lectures and “wholly online modules” alongside face-to-face elements in future.

The report said students had experienced new learning methods and “less assessment anxiety” in lockdown, as exams were cancelled.

The report, “Lessons from the pandemic: making the most of technologies in teaching”, says: “Students have reported less assessment anxiety and there has been a greater recognition of different strengths and approaches to learning.

“All the institutions we talked to reported planning a permanent move away from traditional exams and using online assessments more.”

Blended learning – using both online and in-person teaching – is “where much of the sector is now looking”.

The National Union of Students said that “for some universities online learning has been used as a cost-cutting exercise, brought about by universities needing to stay financially afloat in a marketised system”.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, added that the new move is “betraying students who are at the receiving end. Face-to-face teaching will always beat online.”

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