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Interactive Learning Environments ; 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-20241912


Out-of-class communication between teachers and students is essential throughout university engineering courses for in-depth explanations of the concepts covered in class. This study evaluates this aspect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, a survey that addressed this issue was administered to students at the beginning (March 2020) and at the end (May 2020) of the COVID-19 lockdown in Spain, and at the end of each semester of the 2020/21 and 2021/22 academic years. The results were analyzed with statistical, qualitative, and mixed methods. E-mail usage was widely observed at the beginning of the pandemic, while the use of online videoconferencing tools progressed during that time, thanks to their temporal and spatial flexibility, and the direct and personal nature of student-teacher contact through those channels. Its success was linked to the prior training of teachers in the use of videoconferencing, the establishment of fixed schedules for the meetings, and the use of digital whiteboards that instantaneously display writing when discussing problems. According to the opinions of students, videocalls could be used for questions on theoretical and easy practical aspects despite the resumption of out-of-class face-to-face meetings. Videoconferencing tools for educational communication between engineering students and teachers seem to be here to stay. © 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.