Inside INdiana Business

IU launching ‘mega-study’ on COVID, e-learning

(photo courtesy of UITS at Indiana University)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Indiana University is launching a major study that will examine the effects of COVID-19 on remote learning at higher education institutions. IU says its eLearning Research and Practice Lab and Center for Survey Research are collaborating on the study.

The study, entitled “Mega-Study of COVID-19 Impact in Higher Education,” seeks to understand how the transition to remote instruction has affected the learning environment at a massive scale as well as how the transition might differ among students and faculty.

“Education has undergone a rapid and unprecedented contortion, and the effects of this contortion should be measured. We’re running a massive national experiment—except there is no experimental design. But there is a risk that we may need to do this again, in whole or in part, so we need to learn as quickly as possible about what happened this spring to be prepared for this fall,” said Ben Motz, director of IU’s eLearning lab.

The university says there are many hypotheses about the challenges faced by students and faculty, including housing, food security, and “Zoombombing,” when an unwanted intrusion into a video conference call causes disruption. IU says the study aims to produce an evidence base that can be used for future support and recovery efforts.

The university says it will use data supplied from the Unizin Consortium database, a Texas-based nonprofit. The Ohio State University is also expected to collaborate on the project.

IU says surveys will be deployed to students and instructors this summer and is planning to complete data collection by the start of the fall semester.

You can find more information on the study and its methodology by clicking here.