A tool that has come to stay. The absolute return of face-to-face classes at the University of Seville (US) does not prevent virtual teaching at this academic institution from continuing to consolidate. This follows from the most up-to-date data on the use of the platform that the US has for this purpose. Said information includes the number of users, spaces and hours used in its use from September 2019 to November of this year, which includes the severe confinement that was established in the spring of 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic. In addition, this tool is also classified according to the available means: videoconferences, evaluation and video recording.
The most recent data of this balance serves to compare the start of the last three courses. Thus, for example, in the period between September 23, 2019 and November 23 of that year, the Hispalense Virtual Teaching Platform (EV) was used by 87,490 people, enrolled in 15,030 courses and with an average of 14.69 hours per user. Two years later, from September 20, 2021 to November 20, those figures have experienced significant growth. The users go to 112,030, the courses reach 20,910 and the number of hours is multiplied by 2.72 until reaching 40.02. And all this in a course in which classes have recovered their traditional format, face-to-face, after being interrupted since March 2020 due to the health crisis.
The most requested tool in all this time has been the videoconference which, as explained by Maribel Hartillo , Vice Chancellor of Digital Transformation of the US, became the only way of communication between teachers and students when the pandemic broke out. From then until June 2021 they were used to teach classes and now, with the return of the usual format, they are used for collective tutorials and to maintain that communication between teachers and students outside the classroom.
In fact,In the first two months of this course, videoconferences have been used by 16,070 people, a number that in the fall of 2019 was reduced to 2,075 . The increase in the number of rooms is also noticeable, which, as Hartillo describes, are the virtual classrooms created with this tool: from 1,308 to 9,310. And of course, the hours: from 0.44 per user to 4.27.
Another tool is the evaluations carried out through the EV, which also experienced a significant increase. In the first two months of this course, this procedure has been used with 37,430 students, a figure much higher than that of the same period in 2019, which was 21,890. In this sense, the vice-rector for Digital Transformation clarifies that, for the most part, these are tests that serve as “diagnoses” for the final exams of a subject or to check the assimilation that university students have obtained from the knowledge imparted. One of the advantages of this type of evaluation is its immediate correction.
Similarly, the recording of videos in the EV has increased, going from 1,481 between October and November 2019 to 4,637 in that period of this year, so the use of this tool has multiplied by 3.13.
The consolidation of this platform and, therefore, of telematic teaching in the US was preceded by teacher training that, in a short time, had to get hold of some tools, most of which were not used to handling them. This is how Hartillo explains it, detailing that in the severe confinement of 2020 a pedagogical advisory group was created , made up of teachers with above-average knowledge of ICT management.
In this regard, the vice-chancellor of the Hispalense adds that a European diagnosis, which analyzes the digital skills of university teachers with the intention of improving them, has certified that in the case of US teachers said skill is at the average level, the B1 (there are even C2, as in languages), which is a “good” situation for the moment of boom that the virtual teaching platform is experiencing.