Online Class Survey: Educational Effects and Issues
(Summary of the Results of the Class Questionnaire Survey)
This year in 2020, Musashino University conducted online classes during the first semester as part of a program to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, class surveys for the first and second terms contained questions to understand the situation of online classes.
| First Term, from May 22 to June 11, 2020|
| Second Term (including the subjects in the first term), June 26 to July 16, 2020|
| In principle, all subjects offered by the university and graduate school during the first term.|
| (First term: 264 subjects; Second term: 1,344 subjects)|
| Via smartphone, PC, etc.|
| First term: 61.7% (11,847/19,195);Second term (including the subjects in the first term) 67.7% (36,348/53,657)|
Question.1 Did you understand the content of this class?
- The rate of class understanding turned out to be higher than that of the previous year, when classes were conducted normally.
⇒ The rate of understanding was 75.7% for the 2020 spring semester (the first and second terms) (up 8.2 points from the previous year).
Question.2 What were the positive aspects of our class operation, including online classes and use of assignments?
We received many positive opinions about online learning—for example, “class explanations and answers to questions were easy to understand,” “I could learn at my own pace,” and “I was able to learn more in depth.” In addition, class operation that utilized interactive group work was evaluated positively—for example, “I learned how to work with others online” and “it was great to communicate with my classmates.”
These opinions show that students are learning autonomously, which can be taken as proof that our online-oriented classes have achieved educational results.
Question.3 What could we improve about our class operation, including online classes and use of assignments?
Many opinions we received about areas for improvement—such as “there are many assignments, and the deadlines are short,” “the class environment and audio are poor,” “the content is difficult,” and “the pace is quick”—are attributable to the class environment, which is new even for our teachers. In addition, although we received many positive responses in Question 2 regarding group work, we also saw responses such as “it is difficult to do group work with someone I have never met” and “it was difficult to figure out when to talk.” In this way, the difficulties of communication peculiar to being online, which differs from face-to-face communication, pose a challenge.
Question.4 What are your overall thoughts about this class? Do you have anything else you wish to share?
Though in the beginning students were worried about online learning, many found the classes to be fun as they received detailed explanations, support, and feedback from their teachers. On the other hand, we learned that students tend to feel uneasy if they do not receive any feedback. In addition, we saw responses from some students saying that they have started to study of their own accord because they feel that they should look into questions themselves because classes are being conducted online.
Many students also said that “it would be more fun if classes were conducted face-to-face,” and “I want to attend lectures from my teacher in person,” from which we understand that students hope to take classes on campus and meet their friends.
Before starting classes for the fall semester, we would like to share the results of this survey, including personal opinions, with all of our departments, and we will continue to do our best as a university to further improve our classes by focusing on addressing the identified problems.