Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic

Instructor Use of Technology

Stacked bar graph showing responses regarding student experiences with their instructors' use of technology.  Strongly disagree or disagree (D), Agree or strongly agree (A).  The instructor ...  ... is easy to contact for assistance with course-related questions: D 7%, A 83%. ... responds to questions and comments in a timely manner: D 8, A 82.   ... has reasonable technology policies/accommodations for completing work and submitting assignments: D 8, A 81.  ... uses technology effectively for course instruction: D 8, A 81.  ... provides feedback on my performance in a timely manner: D 11, A 76.   ... is responsive to accessibility issues with the use of technology for this course: D 10, A 75.  ... provides helpful information/access to technical support/resources: D 12, A 69.
Figure 2. Student experiences with their instructors' use of technology

Keep calm and embrace technology. Subject-matter experts helped us identify seven instructor behaviors associated with the effective use of technology in teaching, and we asked students to evaluate those behaviors for the courses in which they were learning the most (figure 2). Students reported that their instructors communicated effectively and demonstrated a reasoned and reasonable approach to technology use in their courses. In terms of communication, most students agreed or strongly agreed that their instructors were easy to contact, responded to questions and comments in a timely manner, and provided feedback in a timely manner. Students also said their instructors used technology effectively for instruction, had reasonable technology policies, addressed technology-related accessibility issues, and provided students with information or access to technical support and resources. Modality had an impact on student ratings of their instructors' use of technology: students in synchronous courses rated instructor communication efforts and technology practices slightly higher than did students in asynchronous ones (by around 4 percentage points for most areas of evaluation).

"The professor assigns pre-class work where you review the material for the first time alone as asynchronous work. Then students meet once per week where the professor spends a short time reviewing the more complicated content from the asynchronous work, then opens breakout rooms for students to work on an assignment together. Being able to work through problems collaboratively has been really helpful for my understanding of the material. The last portion of class is spent with the professor reviewing the answers to the worksheet while answering questions."
Female student, age 19

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Asynchronous Educational Development Accelerates Course Transformation

University of California, Davis

The ACCELERATE Fellows program at UC Davis was designed to inform course transformation efforts for faculty at various stages of the process with a focus on equity and inclusion. To help instructors and teaching assistants prepare for remote teaching, the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) developed a self-paced, fully online version: ACCELERATE Asynchronously. It supports the creation of inclusive and equitable e-learning environments during the transition of face-to-face courses to online courses. Since its launch in fall 2020, the program has serviced 5 times the number of participants as 10 previous iterations of the synchronous version combined.