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From pivot to permanent: QAA shares headline findings from online and hybrid learning research

Date: January 25 - 2022

QAA has shared some of the key lessons learned from the shift to online and hybrid teaching and learning. The research explored how digital and hybrid delivery and assessment has impacted student engagement, contribution and achievement. A survey was conducted among QAA Members across November and December 2021 and received 322 responses. This was complemented by 17 qualitative individual in-depth interviews with representatives from seven providers.

The headline findings of the survey highlight the differing perspectives among educators on whether the shift to digital learning has positively or negatively affected student engagement. More than half of respondents thought that the shift to digital teaching and learning had affected students’ final grades.

Respondents also reported that the digital shift disproportionately affected the achievement of certain student groups, with those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds most likely to be negatively affected, while mature students were seen as most likely to be positively affected by the shift to online learning.

The report is being launched today (Tuesday 25 January) to coincide with the annual release of student statistics for the 2020-21 academic year by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Taken alongside this data, we hope that this report provides a useful overview of higher education delivery during the previous academic year and the kinds of hybrid teaching and learning activities that can positively impact student experience and achievement.

Dr Ailsa Crum, QAA’s Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards said: ‘This report builds on work we’ve carried out previously to identify the kinds of pedagogical approaches that are associated with improved student engagement and performance. The real benefit of this Made Digital project is that we were able to access data demonstrating how particular student groups performed alongside information about the pedagogical approaches of providers. I hope that examining these information sets alongside each other will help us to understand the practices that support student success and may even help us to replicate them.’

An overview of the headline findings is available via the QAA website. A full report of the findings will be published for QAA Members via our Membership Resources Site in February 2022 and will offer a broad perspective of practice and lessons learned from the impact of digital teaching, learning and assessment throughout and beyond the pandemic. This report has been produced in our capacity as a membership organisation.

QAA Members may also be interested in our previous research exploring the links between good practice in digital pedagogy and improved student engagement, progression and achievement. This report is available via our Membership Resources Site.

From Pivot to Permanent: Examining Lessons Learned from the Shift to Online and Hybrid Teaching and Learning

Publication date: 09 Feb 2022