Wageningen students were much more motivated at the end of period 3 of this study year than in the first corona year when education was still almost entirely online. Moreover, the students reported significantly less stress than a year ago.
For teachers, the post-corona picture is more diffuse. While their motivation increased considerably since last year, they also reported higher workloads and stress levels. The transition to blended education is good for morale but does lead to extra headaches.
These insights have emerged from a survey conducted among lecturers and students from WUR who taught or followed (blended) courses during periods 1, 2 and 3. Almost 300 teachers and 500 students completed the survey.
Surveying workload, stress, motivation and satisfaction in the covid era is intended to give valuable input for the future of education in Wageningen. The survey explicitly asked the students about their preferences: 48% of students preferred face-to-face education, 43% opted for blended forms and only 9% preferred online education.
Dean of education Arnold Bregt shared these preliminary results last week in two short online sessions with interested teachers. One of the participants suggested that hybrid education causes increased stress among instructors. ‘Hybrid education is useful for students in quarantine, but comes with extra work pressure for the teachers.’
Fan of the mix
Another teacher mentioned: ‘Hybrid education and blended education are two different things. I am not an advocate of hybrid education – teaching simultaneously on-campus and online – while I am a fan of blended education: a carefully composed mix of online and live educational activities.’
Kazem Banihashem, a postdoctoral researcher from the Education and Learning Sciences (ELS) chair group and coordinator of this study, reports that more in-depth investigations on these topics will be done via interviews in the upcoming weeks. The final report is expected to emerge in mid-June.