About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 488-497
Publication year: 2021
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.0122

Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference

IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIGITAL EDUCATION ACTION PLAN TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020 FOR A BELGIAN UNIVERSITY

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a large number of Belgian persons getting ill. The government took drastic measures to reduce the number of infections implying a major impact on the economic, social and education systems. The paper discusses the impact on the second half of the academic year 2019-2020 on the eductional approach within the Faculty of Engineering Technology at KU Leuven Bruges Campus. The students face a practically oriented scientific and technological curriculum in a broad range of specializations.

From mid March 2020 onward all live educational activities were cancelled. All theoretical lectures, practical exercise and laboratory sessions needed to be replaced by online alternatives. Although experience was already present concerning distance learning and digital teaching, implementing these pedagogical approaches on a large scale and within a very short time-frame for all lectures by all members of the teaching staff and for all students was a challenge. A diverse approach using live streaming, a video distribution platform of class recordings, a Virtual Learning Environment, independent self-tuition, a flipped classroom approach, assignments, remote laboratory sessions, etc. was needed.

A questionnaire revealed that the global satisfaction of the teaching staff members was quite high but the willingness to repeat this distance learning approach in the future in absence of a pandemic was lower. Pedagogical teams allowed students to provide feedback to the teaching staff to detect problems as early as possible. Additionally, two surveys revealed the experiences of the students. In general, students preferred courses recorded without live audience and live lectures. Self-study packages were less popular. For educating future engineers, exercise and laboratory sessions are important. Assignments were provided using the Virtual Learning Environment, live but remote exercise sessions were organized, live presentations and demonstrations have been provided, etc. In general students liked these approaches, again they often dislike self-study packages.

The examinations in June 2020 were organized as normal as possible. A number of courses (mainly laboratories and project work) were evaluated using permanent evaluation outside the examination period of June. Other courses were mainly evaluated using written or oral examinations. In case of an oral examination, mainly live streaming has been used. The vast majority of the examinations were written examinations. Students and invigilators respected physical distancing and took hygienic measures. A similar approach has been used in the examination period of August and September 2020 when students had the possibility to retake examinations.

A lot of teaching staff members and students feared a decrease of the examination results. However, on average even higher marks were obtained. That result is not only visible at Bruges Campus. The entire faculty and the entire university revealed the same phenomenon. It reveals that digital education at a large scale can be successful.

Normally, students defend their master thesis in front of a jury which includes members of the teaching staff and external experts. The students gave a presentation providing an overview of their work. After the presentation, the student answered questions. To respect physical distancing, live streaming has been used. The results are not that different from the marks given by the jury the years before.
@InProceedings{PEUTEMAN2021IMP,
author = {Peuteman, J. and Verslype, S. and Espeel, L. and Pissoort, D. and Boydens, J.},
title = {IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIGITAL EDUCATION ACTION PLAN TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020 FOR A BELGIAN UNIVERSITY},
series = {15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2021 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-27666-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2021.0122},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2021.0122},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Online Conference},
month = {8-9 March, 2021},
year = {2021},
pages = {488-497}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Peuteman AU - S. Verslype AU - L. Espeel AU - D. Pissoort AU - J. Boydens
TI - IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIGITAL EDUCATION ACTION PLAN TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020 FOR A BELGIAN UNIVERSITY
SN - 978-84-09-27666-0/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2021.0122
PY - 2021
Y1 - 8-9 March, 2021
CI - Online Conference
JO - 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2021 Proceedings
SP - 488
EP - 497
ER -
J. Peuteman, S. Verslype, L. Espeel, D. Pissoort, J. Boydens (2021) IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIGITAL EDUCATION ACTION PLAN TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020 FOR A BELGIAN UNIVERSITY, INTED2021 Proceedings, pp. 488-497.
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