September 17, 2021 511 dvomi

Survey: Evaluation of the Online Teaching in the Academic Year 2020/21

Report written by Daniel Rajdl and Leona Borská with a great support of the e-learning team of the Faculty (see the acknowledgment at the end of the report)

After the exceptional academic year 2020/2021 the student section of the e-learning team of the Faculty carried out a large-scale questionnaire survey in order to find out what students and academics think about the quality of teaching in this year and especially what the benefits of the recorded lectures have been. Their decision was also motivated by the fact that almost 100% of all lectures at the Faculty were recorded.

Students´ Survey

The student survey was carried out in June 2021 and was filled out by a high number of respondent students. From the total number of 1944 requests for filling out the survey 1111 students´ responses (57%) were sent back (details in Table 1). In the cover letter the Dentistry students were asked to take into consideration only Stomatology subjects (not the „general“ subjects). It had been found out from the previous oral survey that the Dentistry students prefer online teaching of the general subjects on a long-term basis (even not during the pandemic).

Table 1. Participation in the survey in relation to the study programmes 

 

Sent

Received

Response rate

General Medicine (in Czech)

1272

773

61 %

General Medicine (in English)

393

173

44 %

Dentistry (in Czech)

246

160

65 %

Dentistry (in English)

33

5

15 %

In the first question students gave their year of study (Graph 1). In all study programmes (we haven´t evaluated the Dentistry in English because of small number of answers) the first, second, third and fourth years prevailed in various proportions. Especially the last year students (i.e. the fifth for Dentistry and the sixth for General Medicine) were hardly represented.

1

Graph 1. Participation by years of study.

The questionnaire comprised of 17 questions of different types (choice from given options, matrix, sorting preferences and possibility to give comment). The survey was divided into three areas according to the topic: 

  • Before the Covid period (regular university regime)
  • During the Covid period
  • Plans for next year

Regular university regime (before Covid) 

First we will focus on the period before Covid – during the regular university regime. In the initial question „How often did I attend face to face lectures?“ students chose their answers from the scale of five points: from always to never. The responses imply that the most common phenomenon is students attending lectures „always“, which is followed by „never“. The greatest number of students more or less often choose their lectures (Table 1).

Table 2. Frequency of attending face to face lectures

 

CZ GM

CZ DENT

EN GM

EN DENT

1: always

59

14

16

1

2

162

48

34

3

3

203

67

36

1

4

200

43

47

0

5: never

76

11

35

0

The second question „If I attended the face to face lectures“ tries to analyze students´ motivation for their attendance of lectures. Students chose the response from predefined options and could give their own response (Graph 1).

2

Graph 2. Students´ behaviour during face to face lectures

The graph shows that in most cases neither the Czech nor the international students participate actively during the lectures. The number of students who actively participate is higher in case of international students, nevertheless this group has also higher number of respondents who attend lectures only for the teacher to see them. Tens of percents of students don´t listen to the lectures at all or even prepare for other subjects.

The fact that the first year students have never experienced face to face lectures at all is very sad. They started off directly by online learning.

The third question „Has your attendance changed in the course of the semester?“ identified most of the students in the group „My attendance depended on the amount of the content of the subject“. Only 11% of students in the Czech study programmes and 15% of students in the English study programmes attend lectures in the same way during the whole year. The fourth question „When I attended only a part of the lectures, I chose them on the basis of:“ analyzed the aspects which motivated students to attend lectures (Table 1).

Table 3. What motivates students to attend lectures 

 

CZ

%

EN

%

Lecturer

389

18 %

67

18 %

Subject

641

29 %

111

30 %

Part of semester

443

20 %

81

22 %

Content of the subject

356

16 %

64

17 %

Time of lecture

355

16 %

52

14 %

 

2184

 

375

 

Students choose their lectures on the basis of the lecturers, types of subjects, period of semester, content, time of the subject, etc. Up to 30% of the Czech and 30% of the international students choose their lectures on the basis of the subject. The part of semester is also an important aspect; 20% of the Czech and 22% of the English students take into consideration what the period of the semester is and whether they will attend lectures. 

In the fifth question „What aspects of the teaching in person do you appreciate?“ students could choose from the scope I really appreciate to I do not appreciate for various aspects. 

3

Graph 3. Aspects of face to face teaching appreciated by students. Note the opposite scale in the responses of the international students (GM-EN)

The aspects of face to face teaching appreciated by students are almost identical for English and Czech students. The most appreciated aspects are social aspects and information acquired during the lectures (Graph 3). Another significant factor motivating students to attend lectures is the lecturer´s view of the given topic. The fact that in case of face to face lectures students don´t have to decide when they will listen to the lecture (avoid time planning) is not considered by them as beneficial. 

The sixth question „How often do the following negative aspects occur during face to face teaching“ concerns the frequency of negative phenomena during face to face lectures: whether students manage to write notes, stay focused or the issue of inconvenient time of lecture (Graph 1). The overwhelming majority of the Czech students don´t manage to write notes or are not able to stay focused. In case of the Dentistry students we can see similar graphs and the same proportion of responses. On the other hand, the English students find writing notes and staying focused less difficult. This difference might be caused by the fact that professors speak more slowly in English, so students face less difficulties in writing down information acquired from them. 

4

Graph 4. The frequency of three negative aspects of face to face teaching. Note the converse scale in case of the international students (GM-EN).

The timing of lectures plays an important role for both English and Czech speaking students. Inconvenient succession of subjects and time of commuting make attending lectures more complicated for students, therefore they miss some of them. 

Situation during Covid

The introduction of the online teaching was necessary due to the pandemic situation. The questions of the survey focused mainly on the online lectures. The seventh question „How often did I attend online lectures in real time?“ copied the initial question of the previous part, except it concerned online lectures (answers were chosen from a scale from always to never; Table 1).

Table 4. The frequency of attending online lectures

 

CZ GM

CZ DENT

EN GM

EN DENT

1: always

31

8

18

1

2

171

49

43

4

3

226

62

60

0

4

279

34

39

1

5: never

71

9

13

0

The Graph 1 illustrates clearly the comparison between the results before and after Covid. Even though the occurrences in the category „always“ diminished in case of students of General Medicine and Dentistry, the frequency of the option „never“ decreased as well. This pattern is even more visible in case of the international students of General Medicine, where the option „never“ deceased considerably, while the frequency „3“ also increased significantly. The situation when students choose more often, which lecture they will attend, is more probable than an expected decrease. 

5

Graph 5. Comparison of face to face and online lecture attendances 

The eighth question „If I didn´t attend the online lectures in real time, it was because:“ analyzes the reasons why the students didn´t attend the lectures (Graph 1). 27% of students missed online lectures because they didn´t have time, meaning that they helped in healthcare facilities, poor time management… Up to 40% of the students preferred recordings and watched the recorded lectures afterwards instead of watching them in real time. 11% of students didn´t watch the lectures in real time because the lecturer was just reading a PowerPoint presentation. The results are very similar in case of English speaking students, with the exception of the reading of the PowerPoint presentation indicated as an aspect by 22% of students. 

6

Graph 6. The reasons why the students didn´t attend lectures

There was a difference in the responses of the English and Czech speaking students to the question „To what extend do you agree with the statement: „I would attend online lectures in real time more often, if their recordings were not available.“ For 33% of the Czech and 12% of the English students unavailable recordings of lectures might increase their presence on lectures in real time.

Table 5. The frequency of answers to the question: To what extend do you agree with the statement: „I would attend online lectures in real time more often, if their recordings were not available.“

 

CZ

%

EN

%

1: I strongly agree

99

10,57%

8

4,47%

2

204

21,77%

14

7,82%

3

220

23,48%

32

17,88%

4

201

21,45%

42

23,46%

5: I strongly disagree

213

22,73%

83

46,37%

 

937

 

179

 

The question „What aspects of online lectures delivered in real time do you appreciate?“ revealed that the students studying in the Czech language definitely appreciate online lectures from the point of view of timing, comfort and also commuting, when they don´t have to come to school (Graph 1). In case of the English students the results were more proportionate in the options I appreciate/I don´t appreciate, nevertheless the positive aspects prevailed in comfort, time and commuting. 

7

Graph 7. Advantages of online lectures (live watching). Note the opposite scale of the responses of the international students (the graphs are mirror reversed).

The responses of the English and Czech students to the question „How often did you experience the following aspects of online teaching?“ were similar. The students found it harder to concentrate during online lectures and a great number of students mentioned problems with eye pain and complicated transfers during combined teaching (Graph 1). 

8

Graph 8. The frequency of negative aspects of online teaching 

Table 6. Advantages of recorded lectures placed on MOODLE

 

CZ

%

EN

%

I don´t see any advantage

4

0,13%

0

0,00%

Possibility to pause the recordings

946

30,19%

164

32,87%

Possibility to forward the recordings

734

23,43%

115

23,05%

Possibility to replay the recordings

957

30,55%

165

33,07%

Possibility to watch lectures intended for other years of study

492

15,70%

55

11,02%

 

3133

 

499

 

In the answers to the question „How would you specify the advantages of the recordings placed on Moodle?“ up to 30% of the Czech and 33% of the English students pointed out the benefit of the possible pausing of the recordings and 23% of both Czech and English students forwarded the recordings. 32% of the students in both languages appreciated the possibility of watching the recordings repeatedly. Hardly any students chose the option indicating that the recordings are not beneficial at all (Table 6).

Situation after Covid (students´ view of the teaching in the academic year 2021/22)

The responses to the question „Sort the forms of lectures according to the benefit they bring you.“ showed that the option of recorded lectures was definitely preferred by all students. The students had the choice of face to face lecture, online lecture, recording and combination of all the preceding possibilities. The second most preferred option was the combination of all the possibilities, i.e. recordings, face to face and online lectures in real time. The students found the face to face lectures the least beneficial (Graph 9). 

9

Graf 9. Preferred forms of lectures

More than 90% of students of General Medicine in Czech and English and Dentistry marked recordings as more beneficial than face to face lectures. 97% of the students used the lectures when preparing for exams and 99% of the students would like the recording of lectures to continue.

In the questionnaire the students also had a possibility to add comments. There were 262 comments (General Medicine in Czech), 66 (Dentistry in Czech) and 82 (General Medicine in English). As the positive aspects, the students gave the already mentioned advantages of the online teaching, which enabled them to help out in healthcare and other facilities. The 5 year students also appreciated the possibility to watch recordings of lectures corresponding to another block of study. The possibility to watch again the presentations from the previous years was also seen in the comments as very beneficial way of studying, mainly in the subjects which are taught in more than one year and the state exam. The students also commented on higher effectivity in understanding the given topic and therefore better preparation for exams. 

The lack of social contact with fellow students and teachers was seen by the students as a strong negative aspect of the online teaching. 

The online practical courses were perceived by the majority of the students as little beneficial and they definitely preferred attending practical courses in person.

Students´ suggestions:

Turning on cameras mandatorily would make online lectures more comfortable for teachers and as well as for students. 

The students´ concentration would increase, if the duration of lectures were shortened. 

Presentations in .pdf or in PowerPoint available before the lectures would enable students to better prepare and would make taking notes easier for them. 

The students highly appreciate integration of interactive systems (voting …), case reports, quizzes, etc. during the lectures – it helps them to stay focused and to have immediate feedback of whether they understand the topic correctly.

Survey among Academics

The survey among academics was carried out in June 2021, the questionnaire link was distributed via the information system. We introduced the questionnaire by a statement that its aim was to evaluate the past exceptional academic year („what turned out to be efficient and worth keeping and what showed as inefficient and should be stopped“). The questionnaire was divided into three sections: Lectures, Seminars and MOODLE; it consisted of 22 questions with the possibility of inserting comments.

Lectures

111 academics participated in the survey. 58% of them held online lectures at the Faculty during the Covid period, the rest of them taught seminars and practical courses. 44% of academics delivered more than 10 lectures, 28% of them delivered 6-10 lectures and they were proportionally distributed between the years of the medical studies (Graph 10). 66% of lecturers delivered online lectures in real time with online participation of students. 26% of academics provided students with lectures recorded beforehand.

10

Graph 10. Distribution of years of study for which teachers held their lectures. 

In the question „The e-learning form of lectures equals to the face to face lectures“ the respondents could choose from a five point scale from total agreement to total disagreement. The academics rather disagree that the e-learning lectures equal to the face to face lectures (the average of responses was 3,52; graph 11) and up to 58% of academics gave low evaluation 4-5 (not equal).

11

Graph 11. The level of the academics´ agreement with the statement that e-learning lectures equal to face to face lectures (the average was 3,52) 

Nonetheless the majority of respondents agreed that recording lectures had been beneficial to students in the Covid period: the average of responses to the question „Recording of lectures in the academic year 2020/21 was beneficial to students“ was 2,22 (Graph 12).

12

Graph 12. The level of the academics´ agreement with the statement that recordings of lectures were beneficial to students (the average of responses was 2,22) 

The graph 13 illustrates the responses to the question „Compare how often you experience the given aspects during e-learning lectures with online public and during face to face lectures“. It is clear that academics struggled with technical equipment more often; the opinion that students attend the face to face lectures more often and that they are more active during them prevailed. The lecturers definitely missed the visual and acoustic contact with their students. 

13

Graph 13: Comparison of the academics´ opinions on the various aspects of online and face to face teaching

The level of agreement with the statement „Recordings of lectures lead to smaller attendance of students at face to face lectures or online lectures in real time“ is shifted toward the side of agreement (Graf 14); 59% of academics rather agree with this statement.

14

Graph 14. The level of agreement with the statement that recordings of lectures lead to smaller student attendance at online lectures (average evaluation was 2,09)

The Graph 15 shows the academics´ view of presentations recorded in advance: 30% of academics appreciate better time flexibility and 18% of them praise the full control of the output; 30% of them find it harder to lecture without public.

15

Graph 15. The academics´ opinions on lectures recorded in advance

In response to the question „How often would I like to get reports on the number of students who have seen the recording of my presentation“ 66% of lecturers chose the frequency between once a month to once per semester. Only 13% of them are not interested in such reports.

The academics´ opinions on the ideal form of the realization of lectures are not homogenous; we can see two distinctive groups of teachers (Graph 15). The most preferred form of realization is a live lecture with the presence of students without recording or streaming (48% of the academics), which is followed by a live lecture with the presence of students + streaming, students participating also online and with the recording turned on (43% of the academics). The least preferred form is a presentation recorded in advance (83% of the academics marked them as the last choice). Most of the academics (73%) marked a live lecture with the presence of students + streaming (online participation of students) as their second choice. 

16

Graph 16. The forms of realization of lectures preferred by the academics 

The responses to the question „Do you agree that lectures will be recorded and published in MOODLE (like in the academic year 2020/2021?“ show the difference in the academics´ views (Graph 17): 45% of the academics agree that in the next academic year the lectures will be recorded and published in MOODLE, but 30% of them rather disagree.

17

Graph 17. The level of agreement with future recording of lectures in the academic year 2021/22 (average of responses was 2,81)

In response to the question „What could improve the quality of e-learning lectures?“ 28% of the academics chose the option „All students should turn on their cameras“, 19% would appreciate a simple system of students´ voting with a clear overview of their answers; 25% missed the possibility to annotate and draw during their speech. 

18

Graph 18. The academics´ opinions on the ways of improvement of the e-learning lectures

Practical trainings 

98 respondents (88 %) taught practical courses in the academic year 2020/2021; the distribution corresponded to the proportion of the years of study (Graf 18).

19

Graph 19. The proportion of respondents teaching practical courses 

The responses to the question „Which portion of the current duration of practical trainings/seminars is covered by e-learning?“ were definitely not favourable to implementation of e-learning in practical trainings/seminars (average response was 3,96); in other words they would cover only a minimum part of the practical training by e-learning or none of it. What´s interesting is that 7% of the respondents would like to cover the whole (1) or almost the whole (2) duration of practical trainings/seminars by e-learning.

20

Graph 20. Semiquantification of opinions on the possibility to allocate a part of seminar/practical training duration to the e-learning form

41% of the academics use e-learning for individual preparation/self-study and 38% think it makes sense to use e-learning for this purpose (Graph 20). 45% of academics think it makes sense to check students´ preparation for face to face teaching via e-learning - therefore implement this system; only 17% have already implemented it. 55% think it makes sense to use e-learning as a feedback for students. 40% consider e-learning as meaningful for students´ individual projects. Nevertheless 47% of the academics don´t find using e-learning for giving course-credits (e.g. on the basis of passing a test) as meaningful. 

21

Graph 21. Current situation and preferences in implementation of e-learning for various purposes

50% of the academics have a course in the LMS MOODLE for all subjects they teach; 23% only for some of them. Nevertheless 6% of respondents don´t have any course in MOODLE. 

Teaching texts are the most common in the MOODLE courses (29%), which are followed by lecture recordings (25%) and then also videos (17%) and tests (19%).

22

Graph 22. What the Faculty MOODLE courses contain

In general the satisfaction with the e-learning team was high, which is demonstrated in the Graph 22. 

23

Graph 23. Satisfaction with the e-learning team

The academics gave 25 free comments, among which the following opinions were mentioned:

  • Streaming of lectures may help with lectures in the first years, when the students are too numerous and don´t fit in the lecture halls.
  • Recording lectures may be the reason why students put off studying (students don´t come to school in person and then they are behind with their studies).
  • A combination of recorded lectures would be ideal; students would watch them at home and I could talk to them more during face to face classes.
  • In the clinical subjects it is not possible to substitute the physical contact of patient-student-teacher.
  • Students appreciate the online lectures of anatomy very much, they can come back to them anytime during the year. They also appreciate the common continuous testing of their knowledge via PC tests. 
  • E-learning could complement, but not replace the face to face teaching.

Acknowledgments

We thank to all the students and academics who participated and completed the questionnaire constructively. There was an unprecedented large number of them.

We also thank to the student members of the e-learning team for creation of the questions of the questionnaires, mainly to Leona Borská, Ester Papazianová, Francesco Carillo and Jaroslav Fähnrich. Special thanks belong to Leona Borská for preparation of a detailed data analysis and the draft of this report.

We thank to Kristína Mizeráková, Lucie Pešanová and Monika Kubalová for task organization and distribution of the survey results.

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Important links

CHARLES UNIVERSITY

official webpage

BIOMEDICAL CENTER

Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen

SIS

Student Information System