OLC Partnership Releases Teaching Online: STEM Education in the Time of COVID with Bay View Analytics

PRNewswire | BOSTON -- The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and Bay View Analytics, in partnership with Every Learner Everywhere, Carolina Distance Learning, DigitalEd, and support from HHMI BioInteractive has released a new report exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on STEM faculty who underwent a hurried transition to online instruction in higher education. A link to the study can be found at https://www.bayviewanalytics.com/stem.html.

"OLC believes in the importance of understanding different experiences in the higher education space so that we can better assess how those experiences are interrelated," said Jennifer Mathes, OLC Chief Executive Officer. "Online education is a collective experience, created from a number of varying perspectives - meaning how STEM faculty experienced the pandemic absolutely impacted how students experienced it."

Some important highlights from the study include:

  • 73% of respondents surveyed report having converted face-to-face coursework to remote learning, despite more than a third of respondents having no prior experience with online education.
  • STEM faculty believe that almost all barriers they face in teaching their courses online are the same as those faculty in non-STEM discipline face. The need for online labs is the only barrier a majority of STEM faculty thought was unique for them.
  • While generally optimistic about the potential effectiveness of online labs, only 18% of survey respondents have made use of them in their coursework.
  • Respondents believe that the transition to online-learning has exacerbated the divide between the have and the have-nots, as a lack of resources (including but not limited to access to technology, robust internet connectivity, and support services) unfairly impacts underserved student populations.
  • "The findings in this first report were only the beginning," said Dr. Jeff Seaman of Bayview Analytics. "STEM faculty are now cautiously optimistic about the future of online STEM education. This suggests that they may reassess how STEM education is delivered, and be more open to new approaches that incorporate online education and digital learning into their curricula

About Online Learning Consortium
The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. OLC inspires innovation and quality through an extensive set of resources, including, best-practice publications, quality benchmarking, leading-edge instruction, community-driven conferences, practitioner-based and empirical research and expert guidance. The growing OLC community includes faculty members, administrators, trainers, instructional designers, and other learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit http://onlinelearningconsortium.org for more information.

About Bay View Analytics
Bay View Analytics is a statistical research firm with a focus on survey design, implementation, and analysis. Formerly known as the Babson Survey Research Group, the scope of Bay View Analytics' consulting engagements includes scientific statistical analyses, clinical trial statistics, and survey designs for a range of topics, with a particular focus on online education. Bay View Analytics has been conducting research and publishing annual reports on the state of online education in U.S. higher education for thirteen years. Visit https://bayviewanalytics.com for more information.

About Every Learner Everywhere
Every Learner Everywhere is a network of 12 partner organizations that collaborate with higher education institutions to improve student outcomes through innovative teaching strategies, including the adoption of adaptive digital learning tools. Evidence demonstrates active and adaptive learning has the potential to improve course outcomes and digital solutions lower the cost of course materials, particularly for Black, Latinx and Indigenous students, poverty-affected students, and first-generation students. Our network partners represent leaders and innovators in teaching and learning. We have specific expertise in the adoption, implementation, and measurement of digital learning tools as they are integrated into pedagogical practices. For more information about Every Learner Everywhere and its collaborative approach to equitize higher education through digital learning, visit www.everylearnereverywhere.org, email everylearner@wiche.edu, or call (303) 541-0206. Follow ELE on Twitter @EveryLearnerNet.

About Carolina Distance Learning
Carolina Distance Learning® lab kits are designed specifically for college-level distance education. They provide the same rigor, relevance, and results that traditional labs provide, giving your online students a successful lab experience wherever they are. Carolina's Distance Learning Specialists develop all lab materials and kits—the team has more than 60 years of experience teaching and most hold graduate degrees in the sciences. https://www.carolinadistancelearning.com

About DigitalEd
DigitalEd is an online learning company with a simple and resonant purpose—to shape the world through digital learning. Möbius is DigitalEd's platform for creating and deploying online STEM courses. Providing lessons, assessments and interactive learning activities, Möbius unfolds the potential for the STEM student to acquire knowledge at a guided yet self-defined pace. DigitalEd is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. http://www.digitaled.com

About HHMI Biointeractive
HHMI BioInteractive brings the power of real science stories into tens of thousands of high school and undergraduate life science classrooms. Providing resources ranging from classroom resources based on peer-reviewed science to educator assistance such as planning tools and resource playlists, HHMI BioInteractive believes inspiration, curiosity, and love of the natural world should be nurtured outside of the classroom. https://www.biointeractive.org/