How are you finding online teaching at uni?

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Poll: Is virtual teaching at uni at the same standard as your face-to-face teaching?
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No (191)
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StrawberryDreams
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Universities have had to move all their teaching online very quickly in light of Covid-19, and students and teachers and now adapting to the new world of online lectures and seminars.

How are you finding online teaching at uni? Have you experienced any tech issues?

What's the your opinion on the quality of teaching and effectiveness? Are you able to contribute effectively and engage in discussions - if so is this done by commenting verbally or through text on screen? Or is teaching presented more as webinar?

Are you feeling motivated enough to attend or is this too being impacted?

And finally, do you think it's up to the same standard as your face to face teaching, and if not, do you think its unfair that you're having to pay the same amount of tutition fees?

Let us know everything you're feeling - the good and the bad
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visabel
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Frankly, this isn't really working for me... If I wanted to study online, I would have paid for a online degree.
I struggle with attention deficit in general, and being home studying from a computer isn't great, I get tired very quickly and end up zoning out throughout the entire class...
Not great for me, but how about everyone else?
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1secondsofvamps
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Not a fan of it the standard definitely isn't there.

On the bright side i can wake up 5 mins before my video call sessions and wear pyjamas during it and nobody will know
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visabel
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(Original post by 1secondsofvamps)

On the bright side i can wake up 5 mins before my video call sessions and wear pyjamas during it and nobody will know
that's true xD although I just gave up on video calls all together, it makes me feel like my head's about to explode:eek:
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1secondsofvamps
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(Original post by visabel)
that's true xD although I just gave up on video calls all together, it makes me feel like my head's about to explode:eek:
LOL i was wearing my pyjamas this morning when i had my video call with my dissertation supervisor!
But yeah i agree, video calls just aint it.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by StrawberryDreams)
Universities have had to move all their teaching online very quickly in light of Covid-19, and students and teachers and now adapting to the new world of online lectures and seminars.

How are you finding online teaching at uni? Have you experienced any tech issues?

What's the your opinion on the quality of teaching and effectiveness? Are you able to contribute effectively and engage in discussions - if so is this done by commenting verbally or through text on screen? Or is teaching presented more as webinar?

Are you feeling motivated enough to attend or is this too being impacted?

And finally, do you think it's up to the same standard as your face to face teaching, and if not, do you think its unfair that you're having to pay the same amount of tutition fees?

Let us know everything you're feeling - the good and the bad
I'm finding it to be terrible. And yes there have been technical issues when some of the lecturers have them live (although the live ones tend to be the best ones) but the ones which have been recorded in advance just come across as lazy and lacking effort. Online teaching is tough since there's no routine and that's what I miss about being at uni.

The quality of teaching overall has been very poor. The lectures have been pretty bad for me but the classes have been somewhat better (as in some of the TAs/PhD students really made the effort before lockdown to record themselves writing on the board so we're still used to it). I study Economics & Finance btw, so there's a lot of calculations and diagrams involved which you can't just teach with a bunch of slides. For one of the lectures we could contribute effectively and engage in discussions (via Blackboard Collaborate) but since the lecturer wasn't too familiar with it, it was fairly disorganised.

I didn't feel very motivated once lockdown began since I freaked out that I couldn't use the library which I was so used to for over 2 years, and I was really struggling to make a comfortable environment to revise in at home. Plus I had to move out of the city my uni is in and go back home, so it took me a while to settle back in. It annoys me so much that lecturers/professors act like nothing happened and just went on with midterms and didn't change any of our deadlines for projects/dissertations. I had to do a midterm a couple of weeks ago from home using a statistical software program and I did feel quite disadvantaged since my laptop is a bit crap so the program was slow and the screen is much smaller than the uni one. I guess I'm going to have to deal with a lower average for that module but at least we have a no detriment policy (still unfair for students considering postgraduate study since everything will be there on our transcripts).

It is definitely NOT up to the same standard as face-to-face teaching. And it is unfair I'm paying tuition fees, especially since they do go towards the library too and I can't even use it. I hate the fact that not even one of our lecturers (or even the principal) acknowledged that this would have an impact on our mental health.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by StrawberryDreams)
Universities have had to move all their teaching online very quickly in light of Covid-19, and students and teachers and now adapting to the new world of online lectures and seminars.

How are you finding online teaching at uni? Have you experienced any tech issues?

What's the your opinion on the quality of teaching and effectiveness? Are you able to contribute effectively and engage in discussions - if so is this done by commenting verbally or through text on screen? Or is teaching presented more as webinar?

Are you feeling motivated enough to attend or is this too being impacted?

And finally, do you think it's up to the same standard as your face to face teaching, and if not, do you think its unfair that you're having to pay the same amount of tutition fees?

Let us know everything you're feeling - the good and the bad
In terms of how I'm doing in the light of Covid-19, I would say that I'm coping with it slightly better than I thought but my MH has been up and down lately. Been in touch with friends from home and uni who are hoping me to cope.

Online teaching at uni is a new thing for me as a first year undergraduate and with the cancellation of my outstanding assessments, I'm really worried about my onward progression to second year - something I've raised with my Head of Department and he's also worried about us. Yes, inevitably, I've experienced tech issues with using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (basically a real time video calling tool within our VLE) as my internet connection is unstable.

Teaching for me is mostly 'revision' given that we've finished all the content for the year. I don't think the quality of teaching has changed but the effectiveness of teaching can present problems for some students (this is where I fit in) and this is purely down to technological problems and other issues, e.g. distractions at home etc. Some of my module convenors have better planned for this situation whereby we're working in an asynchronous manner - we're ask to use discussion boards on the VLE.

Motivation wise, I don't feel the same as before and this is down to a number of factors aforementioned. Online teaching doesn't feel the same as face-to-face teaching which I think is inevitable. Whilst flexible, I feel like I have no structure in my day and the communication has been very confusing and hard to follow.

Tuition fees... I'm not sure and not in the mood to debate this issue.

Edit: If anyone's doing some sort of survey or study into this, I may be willing to help but do DM me first.
Last edited by CoffeeAndPolitics; 8 months ago
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Wozzoi
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Virtual teaching can't be the same as face-to-face and is just a cop-out for Universities so they aren't pressured to refund tuition fees.
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gjd800
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From the POV of staff,it's largely pointless. We are learning on the fly (most universities have online pedagogy experts that design, funnily enough, their online degrees... they are, broadly, not helping much) and this has obvious pitfalls. The stuff we are getting out is barely being interacted with, be that because students are stressed, struggling, or simply cannot be bothered

It is much, much more difficult than face-to-face, not everybody has great internet access and being at home means people have other responsibilities. it's a bit of a ****show, but it is the best we have at the moment
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UniOfLincolnStudent
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Hi StrawberryDreams,

Great thread, I am a current third year student at the University of Lincoln. Whilst, the move to online learning has been challenging, the staff and support from my University has been good. I have been able to arrange individual video calls with tutors and lecturers, most of the additional support that is always available face to face is now available online. I think most universities and staff are doing the best they can in this situation but ultimately it is a difficult time for everyone. My University is in the process of creating a 'no detriment policy' which will be interesting, I think some others have this too?

For me, my final third year exams have moved to 'short format assessments' which are basically 'open book' style exams. This certainly has changed my approach quite a lot, instead of spending my time revising all the topics and making sure I have all the correct knowledge, I am planning and organising all of my resources so they are easy to access/use in the assessment. I suppose you could argue that we are not really being assessed in the same way to previous years, but I am just happy to be able to finish my degree and hopefully get a good grade!

Good luck to all the students on the thread! my tips for learning online would be to try and stick to a routine, use the extra time we have wisely and enjoy attending lectures in your pyjamas with a cup of tea!

Jack
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visabel
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(Original post by Wozzoi)
Virtual teaching can't be the same as face-to-face and is just a cop-out for Universities so they aren't pressured to refund tuition fees.
I do hope the petition we signed is taken up with parliament and that they decide in our favour, even thought my inner realistic self tells me I am just a little child with big dreams
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by gjd800)
it's a bit of a ****show, but it is the best we have at the moment
That ^^^.

It takes skill, experience and a huge amount of behind the scenes prep to deliver a decent lecture course and accompanying problem sets, notes, slides,handouts, office hours etc, at least 10-20 hours per hour of “live performance”. You can’t translate this into an equivalent on line package quickly, and the experience obviously suffers as a result.

That said, it is sort of working for many students, and it’s what we MUST do or hospitals clog up and people get ill and possibly die. No its not great and not what staff want to deliver, but it will help students along and it will let finalists graduate this year.
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gjd800
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(Original post by visabel)
I do hope the petition we signed is taken up with parliament and that they decide in our favour, even thought my inner realistic self tells me I am just a little child with big dreams
Probably not, it'd be very unusual for the govt to intervene with universities in this way
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by Wozzoi)
Virtual teaching can't be the same as face-to-face and is just a cop-out for Universities so they aren't pressured to refund tuition fees.
And your solution given the Government mandated lockdown, social distancing, travel only by key workers and all that is what ?
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Jamie_1712
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Nothing has changed for us. The PowerPoints are still online as they were before but we haven’t been taught anything and there are no additional online lectures. Online PBL and primary care teaching is pretty pointless too. So basically the uni has done nothing.
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bones-mccoy
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It's very hit and miss. My uni have given every student a two week extension and have implemented a no-detriment policy which I'm really grateful for and has helped loads considering I had 3 assignments to be submitted on the same day. But then the amount of guidance we've been given has significantly reduced, we were supposed to have lectures where it would purely be asking questions about the coursework but these haven't been replaced online. One of our module leaders has been excellent and has done live chat sessions but none of the others have. Tbh I'm not so worried about the end of this term as we'd learned most of the material before lockdown began but next semester is going to be horrible trying to do a research project solely online

I understand the need for online teaching and am so thankful I'll still (hopefully) end up with an accredited MSc even if I won't have a gradation ceremony, but it's funny how when lecturers were striking they were saying our tuition fees don't just go their wages and we pay for all the resources at uni as well - if that's the case then we should be paying less as we don't get to use those same facilities, surely??
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username2816962
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I am not really surprised it hasn't been great. Most places had no such system in place (other than recording and uploading lectures) so scrambling to organise lectures on Zoom at the 11th hour has resulted in it being an unholy mess in most places.

I do hope that going forward the merits of online learning can be realised and made more use of. Not suggesting the replacement of in person lectures, however I do hope more material is uploaded to university websites/portals going forward. The ability to access lectures, notes and other resources online is definitely something that will benefit students. At worst, a student doesn't use them, at best they can provide assistance to someone who didnt understand a topic on the day the lecture was delivered and can go back and rewatch them with use of additional notes after the fact.
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CoolCavy
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It's not been too bad but that is because we are at the stage where we only had one tutorial a week anyway (our course becomes increasingly self led over the years/semesters especially in final year because we are all doing different products - the focus turns from tutorials and lectures to drop ins and seeking out feedback).
Honestly if this had happened in the first half of the year it would have been an absolute disaster because we wouldn't have been able to interview people face to face, get hands on feedback on our models (can send our tutors pictures of them but really you need to be able to feel it and demonstrate with it) and a host of other things.
Being a course that is 100% coursework we finish a bit earlier than counterparts with exams so as this has happened at the very end it's not been too bad. Zoom isnt that great because screen sharing for me at least makes the video and audio lag until it becomes incomprehensible so to get around that I've been sending my boards and renders to my tutor over email.
The thing that would have totally screwed everything was if companies hadn't of provided our institution with coronavirus codes and trials so we can download at home. In final year in the final semester it's the computers you need most of all because you have to do a lot of huge resolution renders. Keyshot has provided us with a trial period which has enabled us to get our renders done. As the average to do one is 6 hours because of the size I set my computer up rendering before I go to sleep.
We also need physical models which will be marked based on photographs now as well as the viva for them taking place over recordings. As we can't access the facilities and workshops the university is being lenient with the marking of things like models as they understand many won't be able to fully complete them (I.e no access to 3d printers etc). For me on that front as my product is made from fabric I ended up hand sewing it for 18hours (had some very sore fingers by the end). It looks fine and is the best I could do with limited resources, would have looked better on a sewing machine but it is what it is.
Overall I have been more affected by the physical uni closure more so than online teaching not being as good as face to face.
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DoritoEvie
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Nothing's really changed for me. My tutorials are now online, which is 1.5 hours once a week. I can sit at home and do my work (I am more productive at home, actually), hop onto the tutorial call, and then once we're done I'm able to continue with my work. I had noticed that on tutorial days I was always really unproductive, despite taking my set up and going to university. I had everything I needed there, and yet, I felt like I was much less efficient. The same goes with drop-in sessions on Fridays after our 1 hour 'business meeting' as they like to call it. I can just get on with my work while they speak.
I think I would've still liked the opportunity to go into university though, especially because this was my final year. I was supposed to have a degree show, which is very unlikely to happen and will probably also move online (this isn't really an issue for me, but a lot of others).
Our technicians though are wonderful, they are setting up remote access to the super strong computers at university for us. Currently it's Mac only, but I had a conversation with a technician today where he said he'd look into getting a high-speed PC for me (I do a lot of 3D modelling and motion work) which would really help out in terms of workload on my computer. All in all it's not a favourable situation, but it could have been way worse.
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transnerd
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The whole school doesn't have any online teaching. The time differences around the world make this impossible according to a weekly email. The only thing that we're able to do is email our tutors which we could have done anyway. It's really an insult that I still have to pay full price for this. What happened to fees covering the physical buildings etc that meant refunds were limited during the strikes.
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