Analysis of lessons learnt from emergency situation and distance learning at the University of Tartu

Researchers of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences of the University of Tartu have conducted a survey to analyse how the university as an organisation responded to the crisis, and to what extent it is possible to use the gained experience to plan future work.

On 12 March, emergency situation was declared in the Republic of Estonia due to the fast spread of COVID-19. For the University of Tartu, it meant making changes in both work and teaching. All teaching and studies were largely reorganised, classroom studies were replaced by distance learning and face-to-face lectures and seminars were cancelled.

According to Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, it was pleasant to read in the analysis that the university generally coped well with the emergency situation. Specifically, 84% of students were of the opinion that teaching and studies functioned well or very well, and only 2% answered that things were very bad. The number of graduates did not decrease and the dropout rate did not increase. Due to understandable reasons, the level of students’ participation in traineeship and mobility declined. “Of course, there are aspects to learn from – for example, that first-year students and students of practical programmes experienced more difficulties. We also have to pay more attention to the methodological issues of e-learning and to creating opportunities for social communication in online studies,” Valk said.

Read a brief summary of the study.

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