A new university study is underway to determine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on student learning experiences. The University of the West Indies has embarked on research to assess motivation, efficacy for learning, the academic and social experiences of students with and without disabilities during COVID-19 across the campuses of The UWI.
Leading the research is the School of Education at the Cave Hill campus with Dr. Stacey Blackman as the principal investigator. Other researchers on the project include Drs. Grace Fayombo and Grace-Anne Jackman also of Cave Hill.
The research team identified one of the current concerns surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on education is that the pandemic has “widened the inequality gap in education around the world. Significant challenges are also occurring that will shape the next few years and perhaps decades for post-pandemic school systems and education globally.”
Dr. Blackman believes that there is an urgent need to examine the models of education in the Caribbean to determine how to make them more resilient in times of crises.
“The process of building resilient and responsive systems must include understanding how our students have responded in this time of crisis. In other words, how have students adapted to fully online/distant learning, and what are its implications for the future of teaching, learning and assessment,” she noted.
She also shared the objectives of the research to:
- Investigate the teaching, learning and assessment experiences of students with and without disabilities during COVID-19.
- Assess students’ academic efficacy, and motivation for online teaching, learning and assessment across The UWI.
- Provide data-driven & evidence-based recommendations to inform teaching, learning, and assessment decisions going forward across each campus.
- Create a more resilient and responsive service delivery model that meets students’ needs with and without disabilities during times of crises such as that presented by COVID-19.
This study gives regional context to the global challenges many institutions face with school closures, in light of international research trends that focus on building resilient, education systems that respond in times of crises.
While the study was initiated at the Cave Hill campus, it is intended to be conducted across all UWI campuses over a period of one academic year. (PR)