The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited unprecedented changes in all areas of work and life — and education is one of the industries most impacted. As students and educators from kindergarten to graduate school are figuring out how to conduct courses, hold office hours, and host group discussions virtually, the learning curve has been steep.
To better understand what the future looks like for remote education, we went straight to the source. Cerego polled 70 educators from universities and schools around the world, to learn exactly where the gaps in remote learning exist, how educators are coping, and their predictions for the rest of the year.
Below is a summary of what we found. Download the full report here.
1 / There’s been a rapid migration to remote learning — but educators use online platforms in different ways.
Unsurprisingly, amidst campus closures and long-term shelter-in-place regulations, educators have embraced online learning as a way to continue teaching students. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 46% of educators taught online less than 20% of the time and 40% of educators taught online 21-50% of the time. But today, as the numbers show, it’s a vastly different story.
2 / Engagement is a challenge outside the classroom.
Remote learning has presented some difficulties for students and educators alike – specifically around engagement. Almost 70% of educators have felt that student engagement is the most challenging aspect of remote learning and teaching, and 58% of them report their students being less engaged when learning remotely (just 6% are more engaged). The stats show they’ve also seen attendance drop and many have suffered from technical issues or connectivity problems.
3 / We’re still not sure how to measure comprehension.
While remote learning might enhance productivity and materials-sharing, a more difficult element of the online education experience lies in comprehension: how do we know if our methods are actually working? According to our survey respondents, a significant percentage aren’t sure how to measure it.
4 / Remote learning has some major advantages.
While online education does present some logistical challenges, the right learning platform can open up major opportunities to improve outcomes and learn in new ways, but many respondents also believe that testing and comprehension will suffer, and are looking to invent their own methods of testing.
5 / The future is uncertain, but we’re adapting.
As we continue to understand how COVID-19 will impact the coming months, the future feels uncertain. But one thing is for sure: the education community has taken remote learning in stride, and have shown an impressive resilience. As online education becomes the “new normal” for months to come — and potentially alters the way we learn as a society — the ability to prioritize comprehension, engagement, and improvement has never been more valuable. Our learning habits might change, but the reasons why we learn won’t.
Download the full report for our complete statistical analysis.
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