Due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, universities were compelled to adopt technology and digital learning methods. As a result, although some lecturers had never used such tools before, they all had to experiment new pedagogical practices to respond to the needs of students. However, developing distance courses overnight showed the limits of an improvised shift to distance learning.
The universities of the project ATHENA carried out internal assessments, from March to June 2020, which showed that current tools in use were not efficient or engaging enough, especially for areas where practical learning is central like Architecture, Logistics, Management or Research Methods. The concluded diagnosis of this survey on digital learning experience was a need to improve lecturers’ digital skills.
Some universities of the project ATHENA have already developed several initiatives to either promote digital learning or using distance teaching with a wide range of digital teaching resources and unique tutoring methods. In that instance, a thematic specialist in training and tutoring gives support and evaluates learners.
The conclusions of the internal survey are aligned with those from the Survey Report Erasmus Mundus Programme Implementation in The Context of Covid-19 (produced by the European Commission in June 2020). The document is also available here.