Masood, N and Hibberts, L (2021) Sudden Transition to Online Learning: an Action Research Study Exploring Foundation Year Students’ Experience at Keele University. Journal of Academic Development and Education (13). ISSN 2051-3593

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The COVID-19 pandemic induced closure of the university campuses resulted in forced improvisation and adoption of online learning. Following sudden transition towards exclusive online learning, we needed to know more about students’ experience to identify best online teaching practices. This action research project was aimed to study experiences of the foundation year students in the context of sudden transition to online learning. Virtual focus group meetings were used as a method of data collection. A total of seven participants were recruited. Three virtual focus group meetings were conducted on Microsoft Teams in the first cycle. Discussion in each online focus group meeting was guided predominantly by a set of open ended, pre-written questions. Initial thematic analysis yielded three major themes: use of cameras in synchronous sessions, accessibility of the tutor and digital communities. These themes informed two subsequent interventions: the launch of an online discussion board on MS Teams to promote tutor accessibility, and weekly group work sessions that created effective digital communities. There was a clear division amongst participants on use of cameras in synchronous sessions. Post-pandemic, most students would prefer blended mode of learning combining flexibility of asynchronous learning with face to face learning, where availability of the tutor mainly promotes active learning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Keele University at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 16:16
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 16:24

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