LEARNING IN A PANDEMIC AND BEYOND: FIRST YEAR LIBERAL ARTS STUDENT PREFERENCES AND PERSPECTIVES REGARDING ONLINE COURSES AT A LARGE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN THE UNITED STATES
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Like many liberal arts colleges at large public institutions in the United States, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities had very few online courses before the pandemic. Out of approximately 1,800 courses offered each semester, 146 were online in the Fall of 2019. Contrast that with the 1,480 online courses offered in the Spring of 2021.
What is the appropriate blend of course modalities after the pandemic? How many online courses should continue to be offered online, and how many should go back to an in-person format?
These choices have consequences. Supporting the development of quality online courses requires college resources at a time of constrained budgets. Offering courses in formats that students do not want or will not take misses an opportunity to serve them and maintain or grow enrollments.
To help answer these questions, CLA’s Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services (LATIS) team administered a survey to all 1,870 CLA first year students to understand what their experiences in online courses during the Fall 2020 semester were, and what their preferences for online and in-person courses after the pandemic are.
The results of the survey results will be described as well as their implications for the types of courses that a liberal arts college at a flagship public university in the United States could offer after the pandemic.
Keywords: Post-pandemic, student preference, online courses, modality, enrollment.