Over a year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic began a seismic shift in how learning is delivered to students across the globe. When campuses closed, our team became curious as to how instructors planned to navigate the move to online learning. 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. The findings were summarized in this paper.

As students and instructors begin their imminent return to campus for the Fall semester, we wonder what, if anything, has changed. Cerego reached out and polled 145 instructors across the globe to understand how they were feeling about returning to in-person instruction, campus regulations, if they’d continue to use technology, and concerns over the long term effects the pandemic has had on the mental health of their students.

Below is a summary what we found.

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1 / Most instructors are returning to campus and conducting lectures in-person, with some hybrid learning options still available

The global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines dramatically changed the trajectory of education delivery. Almost two-thirds of polled instructors indicated that their campuses were only supporting in-person instruction this Fall, with others indicating that their campus would still allow for hybrid learning.

2 / A majority of instructors reported no vaccine mandates or regulations for their campus this Fall and are most concerned with COVID-19 health risks as they prepare to return to in-person instruction

Although momentum is growing for COVID-19 vaccines to be required for students and instructors in order to attend classes in the Fall, just over a quarter of instructors indicated that their campuses had vaccine mandates in place for both instructors and students. Meanwhile, more than half of instructors indicated their campuses were not requiring vaccinations for either group as they prepare for a return to campus.

3 / Although concerns over COVID-19 health risks exist, instructors report they feel supported by their campus leaders and the precautions being taken to transition back into in-person learning

Surprisingly, given the general lack of vaccine mandates and growing concerns over COVID-19 health risks, 59.4% of instructors feel their campuses are adequately prepared for their return. Similarly, 54.5% feel like their campus leaders have provided them adequate support as they navigate through their concerns and issues.

4 / An overwhelming majority of instructors reported using their LMS more during distanced learning, which increased their overall level of comfort with using learning technology

According to our previous survey, “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, nearly all respondents (97%) spend over 76% of their weekly teaching online – using platforms to assess and test (96%), conduct homework and give assignments (94%), share course materials (88%), and conduct lectures (87%).”

5 / Although overwhelmingly excited to once again interact face-to-face with students, instructors remain concerned about the mental toll the pandemic has had and foresee the transition back to campus to be rocky

When asked about what they were most looking forward to when teaching in-person once again, most instructors reported being able to “see their students’ reactions” and “interacting face-to-face” to be the main drivers behind their excitement. Although the thought of being together with students in a classroom is coupled with positive reactions, roughly half of instructors identified that they were concerned about students being able mentally adjust back to in-person instruction. 29.4% also reported concerns over their own ability to mentally adjust to returning to campus.

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