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Wonkhe survey results - experiences of online learning


Published on 29th January 2021 at 10:57.

We shared Wonkhe's recent survey with you to hear about your experiences with online learning. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. These insights help us make informed decisions to lobby for your rights.

The results are in and we're written up a quick summary from Sussex respondents specifically.

Overall stats

  • 101 responses
  • Majority of respondents first year, home undergraduate students.
  • 54% of respondents are studying courses that involve practical work (labs, studio, fieldwork or placement).
  • 40% of respondents’ teaching was primarily online with some face to face, and 43% of respondents had all their teaching online.
  • Overall, 37% of respondents feel that their academic experience has been of sufficiently good quality.
  • When asked what aspects of online teaching they would like to see continue after the pandemic, 72 students said they would like to see recorded lectures. By contrast, only 5 students would like to see virtual labs used.

Main themes:

  • Respondents feel isolated and have few opportunities to interact with other students
  • 70% felt unconfident when engaging with groups and would like more support with this.
  • Dissatisfied with tutors - several students feel as though lecturers are recycling course material that is out of date, and are ‘using breakout rooms to avoid teaching’.
  • Several accounts of tutors who are unable to use the technology required, which impacts the quality of lessons.
  • Little flexibility in assessment modes to account for restrictions of the pandemic - e.g. several respondents find presentations difficult to do online.
  • Students on practical courses (particularly medicine) feel as though the practical experience they are not getting is not effectively replicated online.
  • Many responses detailing lack of motivation.

What students want from their learning:

  • Only 4% agree that nothing needs to change
  • 75% of respondents would like more opportunities for interaction with students.
  • 54% of respondents would like more communication between university and students.
  • 53% want more contact time with tutors (both online and face-to-face).

What has worked about blending / online learning?

  • Some students have saved money by living with relatives.
  • Pre-recorded content can be of a higher quality than in-person lectures would have been.
  • Several respondents relayed positive feedback about Canvas.

We're always keen to hear from you. Have a look at other surveys or contact your officers.