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Adopting Agility in Teaching

Published April 1, 2021

Learners’ experience and needs in online environments: adopting agility in teaching

Cindy Chen, Sabrina Landa, Aivanna Padilla, Jasmine Yur-Austin,  Learners' experience and needs in online environments: adopting agility in teaching (Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning Feb 2021)

The College of Business at CSULB responded to the rapid online course conversion due to COVID-19 with care and concern over the student learning experience. This time-sensitive study rates students’ experience and satisfaction with their online education. The results identify student satisfaction is highly correlated to content coverage and interaction of online learning technologies with a preference for a combination of BeachBoard, Zoom, e-mails, and publisher’s website. Graduate students prefer project-based experiential designs and as students mature in their educational journey, an upward trend of satisfaction with online learning may be attributed to maturity and years of study.

The evolvement of web-based technology, growing competition among higher education institutions, and learner acceptance of distance learning have fostered widespread support for the online teaching and learning paradigm. While prior studies examine student perceptions and satisfaction within the online education system, this study aims to deeply investigate the students’ experience after a large-scale two-week institutional emergency course conversion mandate. The study systematically reviews students’ experience with four aspects of online learning:

  1.  The adequacy of instructional designs;
  2.  The effectiveness of technology;
  3.  The appropriateness of the online learning material and
  4.  The integrity of online assessment and testing tools.

To implement innovative changes in the online education system and achieve versatility and sustainability over time, higher education must address the critical aspects of online teaching and learning found in our study. Our survey offers a way to include “learners’ voices” while shaping academic, administrative, and legislative policies on distance learning programs. Ultimately, our findings illuminate ways to innovate online pedagogies toward building a quality learning experience. We hope these advances will foster the lifelong learner mindset we aim to see in our students as they opt to continue conveniently participating in our evolving online education system post-COVID-19.