Spring Quarter Snapshot: Adapting to Remote Instruction

Spring Quarter Snapshot: Marco Molinaro

Working remotely for an entire quarter is a huge challenge for everyone at UC Davis, but the Center for Educational Effectiveness is helping make it as productive as possible.

The center, part of the Office of Undergraduate Education, surveyed more than 12,000 undergraduates to assess their readiness for remote instruction and hear about challenges they are facing.


Marco Molinaro, associate vice provost for Educational Effectiveness, outlined some things the technology readiness survey revealed, and how the center used that knowledge to help instructors plan.

Aggies are all over the world

About 6% of students who took the survey are outside California, so the Center for Educational Effectiveness recommended that materials for large courses be made available asynchronously, Molinaro said.

A lot of this is new

Remote learning technologies are new to many students and faculty, so staff at the center recommended that the first week of the quarter be used to ease everyone in and test drive new tools. The survey demonstrated some unfamiliar aspects of remote learning:

  • 18% of students have never watched a lecture capture video.
  • 32% have never participated in an online discussion forum for class.
  • 48% have never participated in a video conference or discussion.
  • 55% have never taken a proctored exam online (the center created a resource listing alternatives).
  • 63% have never worked with a group to complete a project without meeting in person.

The center is looking for more input

The Center for Educational Effectiveness is serious about listening to student input. When a sight-impaired student said the survey wasn’t accessible, Molinaro said the center offered her a job so she could help ensure future communications are fully accessible.

The technology readiness survey is still open for students who want to update their responses, and the center can be contacted through its website or via email. Instructors can see their students’ responses through the Know Your Students portal in Canvas.

Instructors who want to learn what is or isn’t working well for their students can request a remote mid-quarter inquiry from the center’s education specialists or get ideas for their own student survey on the Keep Teaching website.

Primary Category

Secondary Categories