COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

Episode 18: Can’t Get Co(vid) Satisfaction

November 16, 2020

In this episode, Phil Hill, Jeanette Wiseman, and Kevin Kelly discuss signals we’re seeing and hearing about how the Spring 2021 term is likely to play out, including student survey results on whether courses are improving enough to keep them engaged and enrolled.


* Phil Hill* Jeanette Wiseman* Kevin Kelly


* Comparing Spring and Fall 2020 Results From Top Hat’s COVID-19 Student Surveys (Kevin, writing at PhilOnEdTech)


Phil: Welcome to COVID Transitions, where we discuss how higher education is adapting and managing the transition coming from the pandemic. In a lot of our episodes and the original set up for this podcast, we were thinking of it more as we moved into the fall term and what was going to be happening there. Now that we’re deep into November, it’s quite clear that spring 2021 is going to be another COVID term, if you will, definitely not in the new normal, but continuing transition that we’ll be in. Today, that’s what we want to cover. Just trying to say, hey, let’s look ahead harder into what are we likely to see in the spring? What lessons are we already learning and what does that indicate that we should look at going forward?

As always, I’m Phil Hill and I’m with Kevin Kelly and Jeanette Wisemen. Thanks for joining us again today. Let [00:01:00] me start with you, Kevin. This week you wrote a post where you looked at the Top Hat surveys and it gave somewhat of a longitudinal study. We’re starting to get better ideas of what’s changing. What are you seeing that’s happening in terms of higher education, adapting over time? What do you think that’s going to mean for the spring?

Kevin: I’m not sure if there is a lot that’s changing. I think the changes are slightly incremental. Students are still feeling anxious. They’re still not feeling connected with their fellow students. They’re still not happy with the online learning experience, for the most part. This echoes what we see in other surveys, like the Every Learner Everywhere Students Speak 20/20 report that came out and other information.

I think what’s most instructive is the questions around things like whether students are likely to return to their current school next term, which had a 10 percent drop of the people who selected the highly likely option on [00:02:00] the on the form. That dovetails a little bit with some of the metrics we’re seeing with enrollment figures and things like that. It’ll be interesting for sure to see how spring pans out. Student perspectives on the learning experience don’t seem to have improved a ton, but there’s more to dig into there and that’ll be my next post.

Phil: If they haven’t changed a ton, but is it positive movement that you’re seeing or negative? What movement have you seen so far or is it in the noise?

Kevin: Students are three percent less worried about completing their courses this term, but they’re two percent more worried about passing them. They’re not worried about finishing the course, but they are worried about passing it. Those numbers are not insignificant. There are like 35, 40 percent of the students have those worries. Getting into the thinking about how [00:03:00] are we supporting these students?

Again, these questions were for students. They weren’t asking the things like Every Learner Everywhe...