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Quality of Teacher-Student Communication Generally Has Not Suffered From Online Transition, Students Say

The Student Council Education Quality Committee, together with the HSE Centre for Institutional Research, conducted a survey about teachers’ accessibility to students online.

Quality of Teacher-Student Communication Generally Has Not Suffered From Online Transition, Students Say

The Student Council Education Quality Committee, together with the HSE Centre for Institutional Research, conducted a survey about teachers’ accessibility to students online.

About 8,290 students were surveyed: about 5,935 from the Moscow campus, 542 from Nizhny Novgorod, 431 from Perm, and 1,382 from St. Petersburg.

The general availability of teachers online has remained practically unchanged compared to that during face-to-face instruction. About 20% of students believe that their teachers’ availability has improved, and about the same share says it has decreased. The survey shows that in general, teachers’ availability hasn’t changed. Issues have been observed only with certain teachers or in certain programmes.

The survey revealed that a vast majority of teachers are ready to help and quickly respond to students’ emails with an average response time of three days or less. About 3% of HSE teachers take a long time (about a week or more) to respond. Survey results from the Nizhny Novgorod campus show the highest level of teacher availability: over half of the respondents reported that their teachers respond within a day, and half of that number said that their teachers can advise students individually if necessary.

Teacher response time to student inquiries:

At the Moscow campus, the following faculties demonstrated the highest level of teacher availability for individual consultations: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development, and the School of Foreign Languages.

Meanwhile, students do not take advantage of individual consultations very regularly. Almost half of them said that they do not request individual consultations from their teachers.

Ekaterina Vaseneva,
Chair of the Student Council Education Quality Committee

In distance learning, teacher-student communication is hampered, but at the same time, it is an essential way for students to learn the course material. At the rector’s suggestion, the Student Council Education Quality Committee joined the HSE Centre for Institutional Research to measure teacher’s availability for online communication and see how HSE teachers implement the University’s regular online consultation requirement.

The survey results demonstrated that generally, teacher-student communications are well established at the University. At all campuses, teachers usually respond to questions quite quickly, and students do not have to wait for more than three days. More than half of the respondents receive answers from their teachers within 24 hours of emailing them. The same is true for online consultations: in most programmes at all campuses, consultations are regularly provided on request. Several departments have been detected where teachers’ online availability is worse than average. To resolve these local incidents, the results of the survey have been sent to the heads of these departments, as well as the university administration.

After the results were distributed, the survey organizers received many responds from department heads. This is a sign that the University is ready to continue working on this problem and ensure that teachers are available to their students for correspondence and individual consultations, regardless of instruction format.