The First Online Semester of UNWE through the Eyes of Its Students
When COVID-19 surprised us, we didn't have time to analyze and predict whether we would be able to remove the education of 20,000 students to the IT Cloud. We just did it. Yes, there was doubt, skepticism, anxiety. But there was also determination, empathy, understanding.
Did we succeed?
The results of the second survey done among the UNWE students indicate the positive attitude of undergraduates to their first online semester held at the WE as well as to their lecturers.The survey is implemented according to the decision of the UNWE Rectors Council and it is conducted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Katya Mihailova (Economic Sociology Department), Prof. Dr. Sc. Mihail Mirchev (Political Science Department) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexandrina Murdzheva (Information Technology and Communications Department):
The study involved 2,820 students in Bachelor`s and Master`s degree of all professional fields. The results are similar to the results of the first survey - the average grade for the first online semester at the UNWE is 5.54 (by the a scale of 1 to 7).
The Rector Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov:
We succeded. We continue developing.
During the online semester, the ability of lecturers to teach and students to learn was put to an unusual test. We managed successfully, now it is important to evaluate the achievements and go forward with more experience and confidence.
The Rector Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov
I would like to thank to the research team and to all these 2820 students who helped us to make sense of the experience due to their answers. Thanks also to all 20,000 students and 500 lecturers who adapted to the process so quickly. I accept the average grade of 5.54 for the implemented first online semester not only as a high recognition, but also as an incentive to continue developing.
I am glad that my personal opinion is similar to the opinions of participants in the survey - online learning should be developed, but it should not replace the academic tradition of personal contact between the lecturer and students.
Prof. Dr. Miroslava Rakovska,
Vice Rector for Academic Affairs:
Online exams proove the success of online learning
The online learning went smoothly and without any problems although it was organized in a very short time. UNWE managed to react on time to the emergency situation, to organize the learning process and motivate lecturers and students to particpate actively in the online learning. The support to all those who needed help in using the platform was provided, but the lecturers themselves took the initiative in incorporating teaching methods that are new for them as well as in solving problems.
Prof. Dr. Miroslava Rakovska
The results of the online exams speak eloquently about the success of online learning - the number of students who did not pass the exams is approximately the same as that of unsuccessful students in the traditional approach for conducting exams.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Katya Mikhailova:
The online semester in separate points leads in quality in comparison to the traditional one
It is the second survey on quality of online learning at UNWE during CoVID-19 through the eyes of students. We analyzed the results of the first online survey in the third week of our online semester. The questionnaire in this survey included indicators for studying the quality of online learning in two areas: objective - educational process, and subjective - students' perceptions (emotional and rational).
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Katya Mihaylova
The analysis of results gives us the groung to think that the quality of the online educational service we have offered corresponds to the quality of the traditional lecturing in the auditorium. There are even separate points where the online semester leads in quality in comparison to the traditional one.