65% of students dislike virtual learning environments necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For immediate release, August 3rd, 2020

This is a copy of the press released today of the research work conducted with my teaching partners Hap Klapp and Paul Campbell under our brand the 3 Amigos.

A survey released in June to university students across North America, South America and Europe executed in 6 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Italian) surfaced a number of critical insights concerning global virtual teaching and the recent transition away from campus classrooms.

The survey is part of the “Excellence in Virtual Education” (EVE) project undertaken by the Three Amigos­[1], three professors at several major universities, and four of their students[2]. The goal of the EVE project is to develop a virtual educational experience that is better than that found in classrooms on campus. A critical initial step was to “learn from the learners”—assessing student satisfaction with virtual classroom environments and, more importantly, performance and engagement levels compared with those in physical classrooms.

An astounding 1,000 global students from 89 universities from around the world expressed their thoughts regarding the past, present and future of virtual education. “We were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and passion that students expressed in their responses,” said Hap Klopp, a Professor at Hult International Business School and founder and long-time CEO of The North Face.

The challenges of the new virtual medium and the rapidity of the changeover forced by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a mere 35 percent of respondents saying they ‘liked’ the shift to virtual teaching, leaving a vast majority who did not like this transition.  Many complained that they had problems staying engaged and that classes were too long for a virtual environment. Others mentioned that new tools and platforms were needed to improve virtual education.  The student respondents also expressed their belief that virtual teaching is significantly different from in-class learning, and, therefore, traditional classroom lectures often do not effectively transfer to virtual environments.

The survey showed that, after the conversion to a virtual educational environment, out of the students who experienced a change:

  • 79% reported lower overall performance and outcomes, and
  • 59% reported lower test results.

When asked about what could be improved in virtual teaching, respondents made two strong suggestions that instructors everywhere should hear:

  1. More interactions:
    • 75% wanted more personal interaction with professors and fellow students. Respondents pointed out that it was very important to learn by sharing ideas, knowledge, opinions, points of view, and experiences. In their experience, virtual education does not measure up to physical classroom education, so far.
  2. More class projects
    • 65% said that in-class projects, especially group projects, were very valuable in virtual classes to recapture some of the vitality and socialization of the physical classroom.

The EVE survey was constructed as a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions.  Based on insights conveyed in the 1,000 responses received, a second survey (V2) has been produced to provide more definitive and comprehensive definition of the overall elements needed to achieve the EVE projects goal of making virtual teaching better than in-class, on-campus teaching. V2 is being sent to a wider group of educational stakeholders in virtual teaching—university students, as well as professors and administrators, for the purpose of expanding on the points raised in the initial survey.  It is written in six languages for recipients in North America, Latin America, and Europe.  The Eve Project Team is collecting 10,000 additional responses via version 2 of the survey to obtain the requisite input to finalize the study. 

If interested in seeing the results of the V2 survey and the broader results of the EVE study when completed, click here to leave your name, email address, and your school affiliation.  In addition to a summary of the responses, the EVE study will identify some of the best teaching methodologies and pedagogical practices for virtual teaching. Moreover, it will provide insights into some of the potential platforms, tools, methodologies, and technologies currently being piloted by the Three Amigos at Hult International Business School, San Francisco, California.

Until our paths cross again amigo — Carlos B.

For additional information, on the EVE Project, please contact, Paola Ramos: paola@amigos-3.com or visit the Three Amigos website: https://amigos-3.com/

[1] The Three Amigos are comprised of Hap Klopp, Carlos Baradello, and Paul Campbell, who presently co-teach at Hult International University in San Francisco, California. They have been co-teaching together in the areas of Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, Disruptive Innovations, and others for more than 7 years at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at various global universities.

[2] The EVE Project Team is comprised of the Three Amigos and 4 business students at Hult International Business School (Paola Ramos, Francesco De Conto, Gabriela Rocha, Marwen Madani).


About Carlos S. Baradello

Investor, thought leader, university professor, and advisor in areas of corporate innovation, born global entrepreneurship and venture capital investing.
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