Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2022-5
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2022-5
 
08 Feb 2022
08 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

A snapshot sample on how COVID-19 impacted and holds up a mirror to European water education

Benjamin M. C. Fischer1 and Alexandru Tatomir1,2 Benjamin M. C. Fischer and Alexandru Tatomir
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Dept. of Applied Geology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Abstract. COVID-19 caused in many ways a disruption, not only in society but also in education/ teaching hydrology and water related sciences. Taking part in an academic teaching training course at Uppsala University during COVID-19 we got curious about how COVID-19 might impact European water education. The aim of this paper is to communicate the results and reflect on how teaching of hydrology and water related sciences changed due to COVID-19. We observed that overall water education changed throughout Europe due to COVID-19. A literature review of the common teaching techniques in the field and our survey indicate that hydrology educators use preponderantly conservative teaching styles, i.e., classical lectures and therefore these were rather easily moved online during the pandemic. Overall, the COVID-19 crisis impacted student learning negatively (reported by 67 % of the respondents) while only 16.7 % responded that the impact was positive. The online interaction made it more difficult for the teachers to assess the achievement of the learning outcomes. As most of the respondents (i.e., > 40 %) reported that they do not use classroom assessment techniques, the students’ performances and whether students reached their learning outcomes during distance teaching was largely unknown. Most affected learning activities were the ones that could not be moved to online teaching, such as laboratory and field work. Hence, the important knowledge of process understanding in hydrology will be missing for generations of hydrologists. In this way COVID-19 caused a secondary effect on society which needs skills to solve the future challenges e.g., water management in a changing climate. Next to all negative aspects, also a spirit of optimism, time of change and community initiatives could be noticed. COVID-19 made it possible to explore, improvise and using novel teaching methods which could be used to modernize education and make practical and “exotic” teaching formats accessible for all hydrology and water students.

Benjamin M. C. Fischer and Alexandru Tatomir

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gc-2022-5', Rolf Hut, 09 Mar 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Benjamin Fischer, 04 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gc-2022-5', Nicholas Kinar, 16 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Benjamin Fischer, 04 May 2022

Benjamin M. C. Fischer and Alexandru Tatomir

Benjamin M. C. Fischer and Alexandru Tatomir

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Short summary
The aim of this paper is to communicate results of our survey giving a first overview and reflects how teaching of hydrology and water related sciences changed due to COVID-19. Next to many negative aspects for teachers and students, also a spirit of optimism, time of change and community initiatives could be noticed. COVID-19 made it possible to explore novel teaching methods which useful to modernize education and make practical teaching formats accessible for all hydrology and water students.
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