More than a year has passed under the shadow of COVID-19. While there are bright spots and important lessons for institutions preparing for a return to campus, students remain deeply ambivalent about learning online. Most concerning, 58 percent do not feel the learning experience has been worth the cost of tuition.
2. Worth the Investment?
Worth the Investment?
We’re now a year into the pandemic and students have been learning remotely for multiple semesters. Though some note improvements as instructors become more versant with remote course delivery, most students simply aren’t seeing the value of their higher ed investment. Meanwhile, pandemic life continues to take a heavy toll on student mental health.
After 12 months of remote classes, students are still struggling to access resources online. This illustrates the continued challenge many face navigating the patchwork of solutions institutions have cobbled together to support their learning. While most prefer in-person classes, students do see value in the flexibility remote learning has afforded. In fact, almost 50 percent would like to see online tools incorporated into the classroom when campuses reopen.
4. Community and belonging
Community and Belonging
A sense of community and belonging are essential in creating a thriving learning experience—and students who feel their instructors care about them are far more likely to view their educational investment as worthwhile. Even when it’s safe to return to in-person learning, a majority want to stay connected to instructors and classmates using collaboration and messaging apps.
The vast majority of students want instructors to make learning exciting. They’re looking for experiences that are active and engaging through discussion, interactive activities and collaboration with peers. But they also want flexibility and feedback from their instructors to keep them on track and ensure their academic success.
Building community, demonstrating empathy, providing timely feedback and making learning active have significant impacts on students’ perception of the value of higher education. Our findings confirm the critical role of instructors as agents of change to elevate the overall learning experience.
7. Helping students thrive
Helping students thrive
Students are placing greater importance on the quality of the learning experience in evaluating the return on their tuition dollars. While there is work to be done, we also see clear evidence of what is making a difference.
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