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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

Latest QAA report on the positive impact of digital pedagogy

Date: March 31 - 2021

Today, QAA is sharing the outcomes of our work to explore the links between good practice in digital pedagogy and improved student engagement, progression and achievement. The outcomes are contained in an overview paper on our website, with six accompanying case studies from member institutions published on our Membership Resources site.

This most recent report builds on an earlier paper we published in February, which identified some early findings. Our new paper includes both a sector and provider perspective. It briefly looks at the outcomes of a range of sector surveys carried out in the past year to gauge student opinion on digital delivery and assessment. In addition to the six detailed case studies, the work has been informed by discussions with a wider range of providers.

This evidence base enables us to present indicators of alignment between good practice in digital or blended pedagogy and improved student engagement. There is early evidence of some alignment with digital delivery and improved student achievement. The paper identifies the benefits of undertaking more work, particularly around the impact on student achievement, as further data becomes available following completion of teaching in the current academic year.

The paper does identify the aspects of digital and blended delivery that are associated with positive student engagement including:

  • provider-wide guidance on course design
  • a pedagogy-led blend of instructional and interactive content
  • the ability for students to easily access and revisit material in their own time
  • the use of digital platforms to encourage new forms of collaboration between students and industry partners
  • opportunities for live interactions with academic staff.

We also highlight examples of students demonstrating their resilience, flexibility and creativity in undertaking projects and related assessments during the pandemic.

We have worked in partnership with our members to maintain quality and standards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report is funded by our members’ fees but is publicly available in recognition of the extraordinary pressures on the wider sector arising from the pandemic.

Find out more about the opportunities and benefits of QAA Membership on our membership information page.