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How Do We Improve the Virtual Classroom?

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In this pseudonumous snapshot of a discussion-based lecture at UC San Diego, most students are not sharing video, and all are muted except the person speaking.

A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego examined faculty and student attitudes towards virtual classrooms and proposed several technological refinements that could improve their experiences.

Credit: UC San Diego News Center

Researchers in the University of California, San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and Carnegie Mellon University investigated virtual learning's shortcomings and proposed approaches for improving the experience.

The researchers found that faculty members' chief complaint is that many students never activate their cameras; student surveys, meanwhile, found widespread learner resistance to turning cameras on.

Students overwhelmingly favor chat functions, which increase the likelihood of participation, so the authors propose adding text-based chat to promote engagement and community.

CSE’s Nadir Weibel anticipates in the future, “Some classes will be back in person. Some will be only online, and some will be hybrid, but I think online learning is probably here to stay.”

From UC San Diego News Center
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