The two main questions our research teams dealt with concerning covid-19 and education were: How does distance teaching during lockdown affect students and teachers? How can we collect the evidence in order to inform decision-makers?
1. Research into remote teaching during the lockdown
As a reaction to the pandemic, our research teams worked to provide evidence about the impact of covid-19 related measures on education by studying teaching at EPFL and in public schools during the lockdown.
1.1. Study on EPFL teachers adapting their teaching
A study on teacher adaptability was ongoing at the moment when covid-19 hit tertiary education in February 2020. It was quickly re-designed in order to capture teachers’ adaptability in the situation of forced change. The analysis introduces perspectives of pedagogical innovation and touches upon social components of learning which, during the lockdown, have left an impact on the meaning of professional teaching role. The recording and slides of a presentation of this study in a lunch&LEARN session are linked on the left.
1.2. Study on teachers’ experiences with remote teaching in Canton Vaud
More than 5500 teachers from the Canton Vaud have participated in the study. The analysis of the factors associated with effective distance learning reveal that there are three types of factors that play a role: contextual factors (student, teacher and school equipment; as well as the technical and socio-emotional support available), individual factors (teacher and student autonomy, competence and motivation) and pedagogical factors (practices and tools). The complete report is available here.
2. Collecting research evidence on the impact of covid-19 on education
The pandemic has had a major impact on education, not only because of the social isolation during the lockdown, but also because of the need to organise education differently after reopening of schools. New practices have emerged. Educational researchers have quickly accompanied the emergence of these new practices with research activities. Many have conducted studies to document and investigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on education. These studies can make a significant contribution to understanding what has happened, but also to preparing future scenarios, based on evidence.
But how to gather all these studies in order to make them accessible and useful for the entire research community? The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK/CDIP), the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI/SBFI/SEFRI) and the EPFL Center for Learning Sciences (LEARN) teamed up to propose a platform for the sharing of research on Covid-19 impact on education in Switzerland.
2.1. Open repository
We initiated an open online repository of studies addressing Covid-19 impact on education in Switzerland and were able to gather more than 60 studies. Please feel free to use the repository for your research and share it with colleagues.
2.2. Online informal conference
In December 2020, more than 100 researchers participated in an informal conference to share the current knowledge about covid-19 in education. 17 studies were presented by colleagues from UniFR, FORS, EHL, UniZH, PHZG, FSO, SFIVET, UZH, UniGE, UniDistance and EPFL. Full programme