Digital Tools Faculty Expected Students to Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021: Problems and Solutions for Future Hybrid and Blended Courses

Catherine Fichten, Alice Havel, Susie Wileman, Mary Jorgensen, Rosie Arcuri, Olivia Ruffolo


Covid-19 resulted in a pivot to remote teaching and learning in most North American colleges and universities. All of a sudden faculty expected students to use a variety of digital technologies. Here we report on the technologies post-secondary students had to use and on the problems experienced by students with and without disabilities (e.g., mobility and visual impairments, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental health related disabilities). In a sample of 24 post-secondary students, we found a series of problems related to: software and platform issues; connectivity; how professors managed their courses; classmates’ computer behaviors; and equipment issues. We also learned about several beneficial practices and ways to avoid problems that can be retained for future hybrid and blended courses. By giving a voice to post-secondary students our research can inform policies and practices to create a more resilient and inclusive society.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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