“A More Personal Way to Learn During Such an Isolating Time”: The Value of Live Lectures in Online Teaching
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a shift to online teaching, which has dramatically affected all facets of the student experience. In this practice report, we reflect on the synchronous delivery of a popular final-year module “Face Perception” in a United Kingdom (UK) psychology undergraduate degree. In the module, students learned via live lectures hosted on the virtual learning environment and content was consolidated interactively using online polls and small group discussions. We collected students’ qualitative feedback on the live lecture delivery (n=28), from which we observed three core themes: technology-enhanced engagement, logistical barriers, and togetherness in live lectures. Taken together, this feedback suggests that whilst there are additional technological and logistical challenges that must be navigated in the delivery of “live” online lectures, they can be useful in instilling a sense of togetherness online. This is particularly important, given the threats to student success and engagement that COVID-19 poses.