M.A. Santos, R. Teles

After the profound challenges that European countries faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by a widespread shift to remote teaching, there is a widely held belief that the higher education landscape has undergone a significant transformation. This transformation necessitates higher education institutions (HEIs) to adopt a more adaptable approach, offering a blend of synchronous, asynchronous, and face-to-face instruction. This flexibility is seen as crucial to enabling students to seamlessly transition between various delivery modes. Project SOULSS (Scaffolding Online University Learning: Support Systems, 2022-1-IT02-KA220-HED-000090206) is an Erasmus+ initiative designed to enhance the capacity of HEI teachers. The project's focus is on applying Universal Learning Design (UDL) principles to implement inclusive instruction, instituting early interventions to prevent dropout, and crafting and delivering optimal hybrid instruction that strikes a flexible balance by leveraging the strengths of different delivery modes.

Among the initial tasks of the project was the completion of a comprehensive literature survey on the State of the Art of UDL implementation at the tertiary level in online and hybrid delivery modes. The chosen methodology for this literature survey was the scoping review, considered appropriate for assessing emerging evidence and constituting an initial step in research development. The process adhered to the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (Tricco et al., 2018) and aimed to address three key research questions:
1. What are the perspectives and practices of higher education professors regarding the use of UDL in online or hybrid classes?
2. What are the perspectives and experiences of higher education students concerning the use of UDL in online or hybrid classes?
3. What are considered good practices in the implementation of UDL in online and hybrid classes in higher education? What factors facilitate its implementation, and what barriers exist?

This presentation provides a detailed account of the entire scoping review process, offering a synthesis of the collected data and analyzing it to provide insights into the research questions. The findings lead to recommendations for practice, along with implications for the implementation of the SOULSS project.

M. Montanari, F. Martinez de Carnero, S. Celani, G. Di Flumeri, V. Ronca, R. Capotorto

Traditional universities shifted to online teaching during the Covid emergency. Sapienza University of Rome as well as other institutions provided professors with dedicated training opportunities to maintain their academic excellence despite the crisis. Professors had different reactions depending on their background varying from adapting their teaching style to the situation simulating F2F lessons in a virtual environment to adopting new approaches and styles of teaching. Now situation is completely different but the question is if professors appreciated their courses and if they still feel the desire to be more trained.

A surveys produced within the project Erasmus+ SOULSS was distributed in the Academic Year 2022-23 among professors belonging to Italian universities to explore their attitude toward the training they had on online learning during the emergency in relation to their actual teaching style and their attitude toward the ended Covid-19 emergency in terms of possible epocal-change momentum. The total number of answers allow us to provide an overview of the way professors see COVID-19 emergency now that it has been officially declared ended. The study allows us to analyze the impact of last-minute organized training courses about online learning during the emergency and their impact in back-to-the-normal academic life three years after.

M. Montanari, F. Martinez de Carnero, A. Hernando García-Cervigón, E. Garayzábal Heinze, P.C. Bonnin Arias, L. Sanz Simo

During the Covid all institutions Spain shifted their lessons to digital environments as well as all the possible relations between professors and students. All teachers accepted the new situation due to the Covid-19 related emergency but the way they reacted was mixed for several reasons, psychological as well as pragmatic. The post Covid situation had been quite ambiguous especially for traditional-style institutions like URJC: they have a huge number of buildings and laboratories destined to host thousands of students but, due to the emergency, they adopted educational policies to avoid students filling them. Professors attitude has been similar: most of them declared a strong desire to go back to the pre-Covid situation albeit they enjoyed the possibility of meeting their colleagues or to manage their students’ receptions directly online. In the present post-covid reality Universities’ authorities decided to cancel the online option to fill again the classes and the buildings. But in the name of freedom in teaching, professors can still adopt a blended approach in their teaching as an alternative of a completely f2f style to do lessons. What is the attitude of professors in Spain on this aspect? To answer this question the Erasmus+ SOULSS project partnership distributed in the academic year 2022-23 a survey to explore the way professors are doing lessons or plan to do. The total number of answers allow us to provide an overview of the COVID-19 emergency legacy in the field of digital learning in Hispanic HEI.

M. Montanari, F. Martinez de Carnero, G. Cibulskis, D. Pantazatos, M. Grammatikou, K. Dostatnia, R. Teles

During the pandemic, worldwide Higher Education Institutions forced their teachers to abandon the F2F lesson to adopt an online approach.

Most institutions provided special courses to support their teachers during this radical change that, especially in no-informatic departments, meant to shift dramatically from direct interaction in classes to one-to-computer screen lessons.

Researches after the pandemic show positive feedback from the professors and students: in HEI, the shift was not dramatic as it was for primary or secondary schools. Now that the emergency period is over, do professors still feel the need to be trained to provide online lessons in an effective way? To answer this question, the Erasmus+ SOULSS project partnership distributed the academic year 2022- 23 a survey to explore the attitude and the self-evaluation of professors from universities in several European countries like Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Spain, and Portugal. The total number of answers and the span in geographical terms allow us to give some conclusions about the past-pandemic attitude among professors about training on digital learning