The role of teaching staff is more important than that of technology
Rubn Permuy
Students and teaching staff analyse the keys to online education

A UOC study has analysed opinions of online students and teaching staff in Spain, China, the USA and Mexico to measure the performance, effectiveness and efficiency of education programmes. “Online educational institutions want to foster the trust of students, teachers and society in general. This is why it is essential to have measurement mechanisms”, maintains Pilar Gmez-Rey, author of the study.

The researcher analysed success factors in online education according to teachers and students. The results of the study show that teaching staff perceive collaborative learning and students’ willingness to interact with their classmates and teachers as key elements, and students highlight content, course design and their personal satisfaction as being most relevant. The research concludes that the role of teaching staff is the main determining factor in the students’ performance, rather than the technology used.

Gmez-Rey also analysed the role of online teaching staff, using the UOC and a sample of 925 students as case study. Of note in the results are the addition of a new role of teaching staff as promoters of skills for life, and that students consider online learning environments to be increasingly more intuitive and transparent. Also highlighted is the need to include more audiovisual resources.

Under the title Quality Evaluation in Education: Two Measurement Instruments for Virtual Learning Environments, Pilar Gmez-Rey defended her doctoral thesis on 27 September at the UOC ‒ supervised by Elena Barber, director of the Education and ICT (e-learning) programme, and Francisco Fernndez-Navarro, tenured professor at the University Loyola Andaluca ‒ and was awarded the highest mark, excellent cum laude. The thesis is part of the field of research into the quality of virtual education, offering contributions to measure the quality, of various aspects and at different levels of abstraction, of online programmes.

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