Students must have say over online learning – regulator

Students must have say over online learning - regulator

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England’s universities must take student views into account when deciding how much to teach online, says regulator the Office for Students.

With Covid restrictions lifted, the majority of teaching is expected to be face-to-face this year, says chief executive Nicola Dandridge.

But larger group teaching sessions, such as lectures, are likely to be online in many institutions.

And numerous universities have told the BBC they are using a mixed approach.

In a snapshot survey of 47 universities, just 13 said they would be offering mostly face-to-face tuition. The others say they are adopting a more blended approach.

  • Unis told to give students face-to-face teaching
  • Record numbers of UK students head for university
  • Students fed up with online lectures
  • Universities could keep lectures online

And 19 institutions told the BBC they would be offering additional online learning resources.

It comes as hundreds of thousands of students are heading for university.

Last week, former education secretary Gavin Williamson told vice-chancellors at the Universities UK conference that he expected students to be “taught in person and alongside other students”.

Ms Dandridge said she was expecting the overwhelming majority of universities and colleges to offer primarily face-to-face teaching.

But she said the experience of the pandemic had revealed “elements of online provision which are really valuable and really useful”.

“So there will be elements of online provision where it suits students and where it works, in terms of quality of teaching, but primarily it is face-to face-teaching.”

She added: “What we will be looking for is quality provision whether or not it’s face-to-face or online.

“Critically, universities will be taking into consideration the views of students – what do they want, what is their feedback? And that then is factored into the course provision over the course of the next year.”

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