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How To Improve the Virtual Classroom

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online instructor and students on screen, illustration

The researchers propose recommendations to mitigate the loss of classroom interactions.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied the shift to virtual learning precipitated by the COVID pandemic to better understand where remote education fell short and how it might be improved.

"'It Feels Like I am Talking into a Void': Understanding Interaction Gaps in Synchronous Online Classrooms," presented at ACM's 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, examines faculty and student attitudes towards virtual classrooms and proposes several technological refinements that could improve the experience, such as flexible distribution of student video feeds and enhanced chat functions.

"We wanted to understand instructor and student perspectives and see how we can marry them," says senior author Nadir Weibel, associate professor at UC San Diego's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. "How can we improve students' experience and give better tools to instructors?"

First author on the study is Matin Yarmand. Co-authors are UC San Diego Professor Scott Klemmer and Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. student Jaemarie Solyst.

From University of California, San Diego
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