The abrupt shift to remote learning during COVID-19 disrupted people. Many teachers scrambled to learn to use online learning platforms and assemble online courses. Students were forced to do courses remotely. Despite these disruptions, as a college instructor I was interested in exploring what were some of the positive impacts of remote learning for college students, specifically those in Trades. For this research project I investigated this question: What practices, post pandemic, can be carried forward in online learning in the Trades? To elaborate: What are Trades students' experiences of online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic? From these experiences, what can be carried forward in online learning to enhance learning and flexibility of delivery? I conducted seven semi-structured interviews with Trades students at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, British Columbia. Student responses to interview questions were analyzed for themes. The findings reveal both positive experiences (self direction, economization of time, money and travel) and negative experiences (information and technical errors, life distraction, reduced hands on experience) of remote learning. The study shows that course delivery during the pandemic was sufficient in many ways and should continue to be enhanced, expanded, and explored in ways such as effective student-teacher communication, engaging instructional techniques, and hands-on alternatives.
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Thesis advisor: Pidgeon, Michelle
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