11 May, 2020
DISTANCE LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD DURING CORONAVIRUS 2020
The global pandemic, COVID-19 has forced academia to reconsider how to deliver course content, exams and maintain connections with their students. This document presents the results of an informal survey on online delivery methods, technology, examination and grading systems.
Survey respondents represent faculty members from universities in Europe, America and Asia:
M. Arroyo, UPC, Barcelona
L. Laloui, EPFL, Lausanne
G. Combe, UG Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble
N. Espinoza, UT, Austin
P. Arduino, UW, Seattle
D. Frost, GT, Atlanta
C. O’Sullivan, IC, London
J. Cartwright, UO, Oxford
R. Terzariol, UNC, Cordoba
GC. Cho, KAIST, Daejeon
C. Santamarina, KAUST, Thuwal
What best practices are you using for distance learning?
Respondents use a variety of online platforms to deliver both lectures, tutorials and office hours for their students. KAIST was unique in that teaching is online for undergraduate students and in the classroom for graduate students (using face masks and social distancing). The two UK universities have yet to make the complete transition to distance education. The following table presents a summary of current lecture delivery platforms.
|Lecture delivery system||University|
|Microsoft Teams & Canvas||UW, IC|
|Discord||UG (small groups)|
|Zoom||EPFL, KAIST, UW, UG, UT, KAUST|
|BlueJeans, Kaltura & Canvas||GT|
Note: At GT, classes are pre-recorded and uploaded to avoid bandwidth limitations.
What is the degree of satisfaction with the web based delivery system?
Some universities are still transitioning to the new form of delivery and are assessing best practicesThree respondents highlighted Moodle and Zoom for their functionality.
Student satisfaction: In general, there is high student satisfaction with online content focused on case studies. Student reports suggest fatigue after about 4 hours of remote teaching per day.
Special tools used for on-line delivery
Recommended Software and Apps
Running labs/experimental courses (GT, UW, UG)
What method is used for exams?
Most universities are still developing best practices for examinations. The table below presents alternative suggestions currently under consideration.
|Alternative method to formal exam||University|
|Cancel exam and provide more homework and individual projects||KAIST|
|Reschedule exam to later in the year||UPC|
|Provide a shorter remote exam||UPC|
|Multiple choice questions||UG|
|More frequent quizzes||UPC|
|Fixed time to sign in and out||GT, KAUST|
What grading system is used?
Acknowledgements: G. Abelskamp compiled answers and prepared this summary.