Research: experience of education and teaching during COVID-19 crisis

9 July 2020 by @avans

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on education and teaching and is demanding a lot from lecturers, staff and students. In light of this, the Executive Board and ‘De Cirkel Onderwijs’ commissioned the Institutional Research team at the Centre for Learning and Innovation (LIC) to ask students, lecturers and staff about their experience of education and teaching during the COVID-19 crisis. The research has two aims: 1) to gain insight into how the current situation is impacting students and staff, and 2) to find out how distance learning can be further improved.
The research seeks to answer the main question of: What are lecturers’, staff members’ and students’ opinions and experiences of the current distance learning arrangements at Avans and how do they think these could be improved?


An online survey with closed and open questions was used to identify experiences and points for improvement with regard to distance learning and working. All students, lecturers and employees at Avans were sent an email invitation to participate in the research. A total of 4,098 students, 935 lecturers and 755 members of staff completed the online survey.


Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Avans community is generally doing well. Most students, lecturers and staff are in good health, but they have experienced some stress in recent weeks.

Neither of the target groups have a wholly positive view of online education and teaching, with both saying the major drawback is a lack of personal contact and interaction. Students occasionally struggle to concentrate and do not always feel motivated to study at home. It is also not always clear what is expected from students and when. Lecturers struggle to gain insight into students' learning process, say interacting with students is a challenge, and have difficulty encouraging and motivating students.

Nevertheless, both students and lecturers believe online educational applications will play an important role in future education and teaching. Both feel that these applications will make it easy for formal lectures and presentations to be given online in the future. They would also like the individual mentoring on lecture material to be given online in the future, just as it is now. However, other parts such as knowledge tests, discussions and practicals, as well as some forms of assessment, lend themselves less well to the online environment.

All target groups, but especially the staff, are positive about the accessibility of digital services and the support given. Although they say they miss having personal contact with colleagues, they are generally positive about working from home. It has a calming influence, and they are often able to work more efficiently.


Last updated on 9 July 2020.