Starting university during the COVID-19 pandemic: A small-scale study of first-year education students’ expectations, experiences and preferences

Marc Turu Porcel, Tom Van Rossum, Nicole Gridley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In early 2020, universities across the world ceased face-to-face teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explores the experiences of first-year UK university students during this time. Four main themes were identified in the data. Regarding course delivery, students valued the flexibility of blended learning, which involved attending some live sessions while working on others in their own time. Student interaction was mentioned to be critical for learning and how the use of webcams and breakout rooms can facilitate or hinder it. Regarding staff, continuous communication, availability and online drop-ins were highly valued and had a positive impact on satisfaction. Finally, while students benefitted from a coherent use of online tools provided by the university, they also valued the flexibility of using less-regulated tools, including social media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalLearning and Teaching
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

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