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RIDE. Revista Iberoamericana para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Educativo

On-line version ISSN 2007-7467

Abstract

BALDERAS SOLIS, José et al. How Did the Teaching and Learning of Practical Courses in Information Technology Change with COVID-19?. RIDE. Rev. Iberoam. Investig. Desarro. Educ [online]. 2021, vol.11, n.22, e06.  Epub May 21, 2021. ISSN 2007-7467.  https://doi.org/10.23913/ride.v11i22.826.

Introduction

During the health contingency due to COVID-19, education migrated to virtual environments that allowed the necessary social isolation to prevent the spread of the virus. There was a period of adaptation to the new modality for everyone. However, professors and students with lab courses faced an even greater challenge: that of addressing practical content from virtual scenarios, that is, without being physically present in a laboratory.

Objective

This paper is developed in this context with the objective of achieving an approach to the characterization of the teaching and learning of university practical courses in technologies in the times of COVID-19.

Method

A case study of a Public Mexican University (named UNX, for confidentiality purposes) and its bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, where the hardware and software laboratory work is implicit in most courses is presented. In this research, in-depth interviews were conducted with five professors, and questionnaires with open questions were applied to six university students in ​​Information Technology. During Spring 2020, the five professors taught subjects whose contents involved laboratory practices. The six students studied the same courses with these professors. Neither students nor professors knew that the research would encompass both perspectives. In the interviews with the professors, the following aspects were addressed: course content, teaching work, students, class dynamics and 'online' mode. In the questionnaires with the students, only the last three aspects were addressed. For data processing, MAXQDA version 20 software was used.

Results

Even though most of the content was covered successfully, there were practical topics that could be deepened further and others that were not addressed. Communication between professors and students was fluid and explicit. The professors found the online mode very convenient and agreed that they would prefer to teach their classes in this way even in future scenarios, free of pandemics. They accepted that their online teaching experience could improve, for which they should increase their planning and diversify the formats of their sessions and class materials. Students agreed that the evaluations and communication with the professors were good. However, they identified some areas of opportunity and concluded that they would not like to take their classes completely online when the COVID19 contingency ends.

Conclusions

The university teaching of practical courses in technologies in the times of COVID-19 was carried out virtually in an environment of good communication between professors and students. The contents, learning materials, and the way of teaching had to be adapted. Both students and professors recognize that it was a good experience, but that it is susceptible to further improvement through the personal and collective commitment of all the actors involved.

Keywords : electronic learning; vocational training subjects; higher education; epidemics.

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