Remote Learning: 6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Students and Instructors Now 

Written by Explorance.

A student working from home via a laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption in the academic space since early 2020. The scramble to rapidly adjust to an online learning environment has impacted Higher Education Institutions, faculty, and students.

Students have had to relocate or physically isolate on campuses, and many have had to adjust to a new remote learning environment. This may have prompted feelings of isolation, or confusion regarding graduation and other important events/milestones related to their studies. Not to mention, there’s been a lot of personal concerns about the health of family and friends.

Faculty and other instructional staff have made great efforts to transform course materials, have re-thought how lab-based or collaborative group work can happen, and have adopted new tools and technologies for course delivery that they were not previously familiar with.

Meanwhile, institutions continue to grapple with the logistics of the transition, broadly rolling out new tools to support online learning, managing physical facilities in as safe a manner as possible, and reallocating budgets to meet current needs. Teaching and learning departments are trying to support instructors who may not be accustomed to this format, and deans are running their departments virtually.

These dramatic changes would be challenging to execute under normal circumstances, let alone during a public health crisis. We are well into uncharted territory, and the voice of the student and voice of the instructor matter now more than ever. Delivering a strong, on-going student experience is just as important, as a new cohort of students have begun their studies in the last year.

Do you know which of your students or instructors is still struggling – now that remote teaching and online learning environments are the new normal? How are they coping with the expectations required to be an effective virtual learner or instructor? How distracted are your students and faculty by the current health crisis?

Institutions who have committed to a continuous listening strategy and tackled these questions are now better positioned to help their students and faculty achieve the best outcomes during these uncertain times.

At Explorance, we want to help by sharing a few questions that you can ask your students and faculty to quickly gather their perspectives and adjust communications, resources, and other supports accordingly.

Questions for students:

The first five questions are designed to be used with a scale of emoticons, stars, or traditional scale headers from strongly agree to strongly disagree.  The final question is open-ended. 

  1. At this time, I am confident in my personal health and safety. 
  2. I have the tools and resources needed to be a successful learner in a virtual environment. 
  3. I understand what is expected of me as a remote student. 
  4. I feel connected to my fellow students. 
  5. I feel connected to my instructors. 
  6. How can we improve your remote learning experience? 

Questions for faculty/instructors:

  1. At this time, I am confident in my personal health and safety. 
  2. I have the tools and resources needed to be a successful instructor in a virtual environment. 
  3. I understand what is expected of me as a remote faculty member. 
  4. I feel connected to my fellow colleagues. 
  5. I feel connected to my students.
  6. How can we improve your remote teaching experience? 

Asking these questions shows that your institution cares, and thoughtful action based on the results will build confidence and augment decision support for any higher education institution.

In this time of significant on-going change and uncertainty, there are bound to be many new challenges.  Institutions that understand the concerns and challenges facing their students and faculty and make rapid adjustments to improve will yield the best outcomes and greatest success for all.

Feedback such as this must be timely and honest – but it also offers an opening to build a long-lasting and fruitful connection with institutors and students through an Experience Management (XM) strategy.

Explorance stands ready to assist your institution with innovative feedback solutions, including Bluepulse, a real-time, 2-way engagement tool that allows for instant, confidential feedback, helps to measure learning, and facilitates personalized follow ups.


Learn how to increase student engagement in a new remote learning environment

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