It Can’t Be Taught Online: Applied Sciences during the Pandemic
Transition to distance learning during the COVID‑19 lockdown in spring 2020 was a challenge to the education system in general and higher education in particular. Applied Sciences were unanimously recognized as the most affected due to their focuson practical skills, being closely tied to the institutional infrastructure, and a moderate curriculum digitalization. This article describes student experiences during the spring semester of academic year 2019/20, using data obtained from 30 interviews with students in Engineering, Technology & Applied Sciences, Health & Medical Sciences, and Arts & Culture degrees. Delivery of lectures and practical classes, placements, dissertations, and faculty–student interactions are analyzed. Findings are consistent with the widely discussed perception of education during the pandemic not as distance learning but rather as emergency remote teaching that requires supportive measures to compensate for time loss in learning as well as solutions to technical and methodological issues.