The topic of this MPG master's thesis is the learning environment in the new everyday school life with new mixed virtual teaching methods that has emerged since the closure of all the country's educational institutions in March 2020.
The thesis shows that virtual teaching has a number of negative consequences for both students’ and teachers’ experience of learning, motivation and well-being, but that virtual teaching also offers a number of opportunities to acquire new competencies (for both teachers and students), and work with learning objectives specified in the Upper Secondary School Act. However, it requires a different way of organizing teaching if students and teachers are to experience a better learning outcome of virtual teaching. The changed framework for teaching must be considered in the teachers' orchestration of work phases, multiple technologies and collaboration in groups.
This thesis is based on the social constructivist learning theory Community of inquiry (CoI) as a theoretical meta-framework and examines the effect of virtual teaching on the three fields that are part of CoI's learning model: social, teaching and content presence. CoI points out that the most motivating and deepest learning occurs when teachers and students explore open problem areas together, and students are given open-ended tasks that require them to invest energy and curiosity in finding a solution that is not given in advance.
Through both local and nationwide studies of students’ and teachers’ experiences with virtual teaching from March 2020 to now, the thesis shows that virtual teaching has a negative impact on both social presence in the form of lower motivation and poorer well-being for the majority of students. The teachers experience the students' academic progression and taxonomic level in relation to learning goals and metacognition (teaching presence). According to the results of the studies, virtual teaching also affects the content of the subject matter of the teaching, which is planned to be less varied, less extensive and with a lower degree of difficulty (cognitive presence). It is a widespread common assumption among both students and teachers that virtual teaching does not have the same quality as face-to-face teaching.
Students do not learn what they need to, seems to be a common assumption, which is expressed among both students and teachers, and teachers place special emphasis on the fact that virtual teaching can’t reach the same taxonomic level, because they lack contact with the students behind the scenes. The students’ critical and reflexive competencies do not come into play to the same degree in the virtual teaching according to this assignment's study of the teachers' experiences with virtual teaching.
This thesis concludes that virtual teaching, despite the negative effects on the learning environment, has a justification as a planned smaller part of the teaching because students are given the opportunity to develop digital collaborative skills needed in higher education and in the labor market of the future. However, it requires that virtual teaching is planned with an eye to the students' academic progression, and the teachers seek that there is a safe learning space, where the orchestration of assignments and collaboration forums allows for a good collaborative and exploratory collaboration between the students.
|Educations||Master of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||52|