REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Students and faculty both view high-stakes exams and assessments as the least valuable ways to assess what students are learning, but diverge on the best way to study and provide academic support, according to a national survey released today by Course Hero. Even with a sample that skewed older than the national average student population, faculty were more likely (64%) than students themselves (59%) to say that work and family commitments were challenges limiting students' ability to learn.
"Faculty are seeing firsthand the implications of the massive demographic and technological shifts in higher education and they're experimenting with new ways to engage and support an increasingly diverse student population," said Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. "The findings suggest that there may be common ground among students and educators to re-imagine the role of collaboration and assessment together."
The survey of 2,700 full- and part-time students and 345 faculty gauged student and educator viewpoints on a range of issues, including perceived barriers to student success, learning motivations and the value of online vs. in-person student resources.
While the survey found that educators recognize the challenges faced by working and parent learners, faculty and students have divergent views on resources that should be used to supplement instruction. Not surprisingly, students using Course Hero named Google (65%), YouTube (49%), and online study tools (76%) as top resources for academic support. In-person options, like study groups (33%), in-person tutoring (13%), and office hours (15%) were much less commonly used.
In contrast, faculty were most likely to cite in-person resources such as office hours (81%), in-person tutoring (71%), study groups or friends (80%) as the most helpful for students—with much lower support for online resources. Other findings from Course Hero's "Teaching, Learning and Assessment" survey include:
- Students are focused on jobs more than earning a high GPA. Maintaining a high GPA is of less importance to students than priorities like landing a job, earning a degree or even personal growth, with only 40% of students naming it as their top goal.
- Students and educators alike question the value of exams. Students prefer homework (49%) and online discussion (43%) as the fairest way of assessment. Similarly, faculty cited homework (60%), presentations (59%), independent projects (56%) as the most valid ways for students to demonstrate what they've learned. Students saw proctored exams (21%) as more fair than non-proctored exams (17%), but preferred open-book exams (27%) to either of those options.
- Faculty are skeptical of online resources—and prefer in-person academic support. In contrast, they are highly skeptical of online resources, with much smaller percentages of faculty naming YouTube (50%), online study tools (46%) and Google (38%) as resources students should use.
- Barriers to student success are more diverse than faculty believe. Beyond work and family, students cited the need for more detailed "breakdowns" than those provided by faculty (30%) and the need for more "personalized instruction" (20%) as barriers to learning.
Conducted between June 23, 2021 and July 2, 2021, Course Hero fielded the survey using an email questionnaire sent to its users about their attitudes toward and perceptions of teaching, learning and assessment. The survey respondents skewed significantly older than the U.S. student population, which may in part influence the views and attitudes of students who completed the survey.
The research is part of Course Hero's Research Hub, a resource for data and insights on higher education sourced from its community of millions of students and over 70,000 higher education faculty. Discover additional insights on students and educators in higher education here.
About Course Hero: Course Hero is on a mission to help students graduate confident and prepared. The online learning platform offers over 60 million course-specific study resources created by and for students and educators, as well as 24/7 tutor help. More than 70,000 college faculty use Course Hero to share their resources with the community, collaborate with other faculty, and hone new strategies for instruction. The range of learning materials includes practice problems, study guides, textbook solutions, videos, class notes, and step-by-step explanations for every subject, helping students make every study hour count.
SOURCE Course Hero