LONDON, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Universities need an urgent review of their digital education practices and student experience to help their teaching staff better meet student expectations, according to a new EY report. the students. The report collects data from more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from eleven countries (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States), as well as groups of personnel discussion and interviews with university leaders.
The students surveyed consider quality teaching a priority (83%) and, while the importance of face-to-face teaching compared to online teaching is low, the quality of online teaching is the one that satisfies students the least.
Students say they would like to see investment in training teachers to teach online more effectively (45%), developing better online learning materials (41%), and providing students with more support for effective digital learning (40%).
Catherine Friday, EY Global Training Leader, explained:
"Investing in digital technology for teaching has been on the to-do list of university leaders for years and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that need dramatically; implementation timelines had to be reduced from years to weeks. No one expects us to go back to our old ways, but our report shows that much more investment and training is needed to provide students and teachers with the tools they need to function effectively in this new world. These systems and practices must be designed with the people in mind. those that will serve, rather than fit into existing structures. They must be student-centered first and foremost, but to be successful they also have to work for faculty, researchers, and administrative and support staff. In some cases, This can be a big change, but considering that a third of students report feeling negative or neutral about their experience at university and that the quality of teaching is students' top priority, it is clear that there is a need to give priority to this aspect. With universities around the world also facing financial problems, losing students over something that universities can easily fix doesn't make sense.”
New systems can help staff, but require training and time
The report shows that more needs to be done to help faculty focus more on their core mission of teaching, supporting students or conducting research. Focus group participants want to receive more training on best practices for blended learning (online and face-to-face), both in terms of developing curricula and content for effective digital or blended learning and in providing support teaching and learning.
Teachers and support staff need more time to integrate new tools and working methods, and say they currently spend too much time dealing with a myriad of new systems and tools that are unintuitive, difficult to use or duplicate tasks.
Friday noted: "Technology has the potential to greatly facilitate the work of faculty, researchers and administrators. Replacing massive in-person classes with high-quality self-study content can free up faculty to focus more on smaller in-person teaching groups. reduced or applying analytics to find and help struggling students and design personal intervention plans Greater automation of routine tasks - such as processing student applications, grading assessments, or submitting applications of research grants - could also free up time across university staff. However, it is vital that new systems are designed with their users in mind and that comprehensive training is provided. Our research has shown that some members of the staff believe that poorly implemented digital systems can add to their workload, instead of helping them achieve their most important objective: offering services to students and society.
The investigation report is available here.
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