by CLAIRE FIELD
Institutions will not only need to lift the quality and engagement of their on-line education, they will also need to provide more student support in an on-line context
At the PIE Live conference yesterday, Hamish Coates from Tsinghua University observed that “on-line has move to the academic core.”
His comments were timely given the latest Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching data showing an average 10 per cent decline in university student experience ratings in 2020. It was noticeable that those universities which rated highly on student experience during COVID-19 were mostly regional universities (with a historic reliance on distance/on-line learning) and private universities where a focus on the student experience is a key part of their offering, given students are ineligible for government subsidies and hence pay higher fees.
It was also notable that amongst the non-university higher education institutes, there were 11 independent providers and two TAFEs which rated more highly on their combined 2019-2020 QILT results than they did on their 2018-2019 figures. That is, their student experience ratings appear to have risen during the pandemic (CMM explained the methodological issues resulting from small student samples in the non-university sector earlier this week).
These findings are important in the context of the new performance measures the government has introduced for universities, as well as in relation to the results of a recent survey by Studiosity. The survey of 1000 domestic and international students in Australia last year found that despite the challenges of on-line learning, many students want a blended learning approach in the future rather than a return to full-time, on-campus study.
That means institutions will not only need to lift the quality and engagement of their on-line education, they will also need to provide more student support in an on-line context.
Jack Goodman (Studiosity founder), Kylie Readman (PVC, Education at Murdoch University), and mental health expert and former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry AO joined me on the latest episode of the podcast to discuss these issues. Listen online or check your podcast feed.
Claire Field is the host of the ‘What now? What next? Insights into Australia’s tertiary education sector’ podcast