Learning Environments During Pandemic Shutdown

May 12, 2020
Christopher Long

College of Education assistant professor Christopher Long is making the best of the situation after his research project was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially, Long was studying learning environments and student attitudes toward science. However, as schools shut down and students moved to learning from home, his research ground to a halt.

Not to be deterred, Long took advantage of the unique opportunity to make learning from home better for future students caught in emergency situations.

“My project uses an established learning environments questionnaire to assess our students’ perception of their learning environments before and after the shutdown,” Long says. “I’m hoping that we’ll be able to identify and address areas where students have the most difficulty.”

Long is examining factors including student cohesiveness, teacher support, involvement, investigation, task orientation, cooperation and equity.

While the data is unlikely to be available before the end of the Spring 2020 semester, Long hopes the research helps instructors better understand how to adjust learning environments and curriculum in the future.

“The data will yield valuable information going into summer to help educators gain insight into their own teaching effectiveness and be prepared for future events,” Long says.