Creating a “New Normal” The future has come about sooner than we thought; COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the way we live, work, and educate our students. So far, delivery of education has been about surviving the short-term challenges of lockdown and social distancing, but the real challenges revolve around reshaping education to prepare for the ‘new normal’ so that campus education not only survives, but thrives as a result of enhancements delivered by new developments in interactive online learning. And what went before - largely the distribution of asynchronous content – is now accepted as inadequate and a poor substitute for classroom learning. It is an uncomfortable truth that the wholesale move to online learning for University students resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown has, with few exceptions, offered little more than conversation and remote document access via their VLE. We cannot go back. Interaction, engagement, and human connections that create a sense of belonging, in learning spaces where tutors connections with remote based students are reinforced with their hands and eyes, almost as if they were present together, are essential. Why? Because the go-to existing tools such as Microsoft Teams™ and Zoom™ were designed for online meetings and not online learning, and the pedagogies and cultures to drive real time online learning have not been widely developed. Because of COVID-19, universities have been forced online in a time frame and at a scale that has never been planned for, with a stark reality that 21st century connectivity and technology is supporting 19th century teaching methods by electronically distributing large volumes of information to mostly passive and powerless learners each sat in isolation from their classmates. In such instances, when students access material at a time of their choosing, there is no interaction between students or their tutor, no regard to wellbeing, and low satisfaction. We already know that student satisfaction levels for the current quality and volume of online learning caused by COVID-19 is very low. There is every likelihood that social distancing will remain in place until 2022 and a vaccine has been developed, which will reduce the number of students physically allowed in teaching spaces. With a 2m distancing requirement, this has been modelled to reduce capacity by up to 82% in lecture spaces. The willingness of students to pay high fees for poor off-campus learning experiences is unsustainable, requiring universities to quickly and drastically improve their provision for real-time off-campus learning with remote based students, better ensuring that they are engaged in similar ways to being physically present, so that both their learning and satisfaction increase. We have to move forward quickly to a new normal with developments that don’t just address the needs of COVID-19, but which also have the potential to deliver new learning and working practices that will support positive climate change, and which will help the return of overseas students to the UK, albeit virtually in the first instance.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Socrates
NEWSLETTER NEWSLETTER
Visual Learning Lab
The
Remote and Hybrid Learning STEM Writing Wall Social Distancing
Creating a “New Normal” The future has come about sooner than we thought; COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the way we live, work, and educate our students. So far, delivery of education has been about surviving the short-term challenges of lockdown and social distancing, but the real challenges revolve around reshaping education to prepare for the ‘new normal’ so that campus education not only survives, but thrives as a result of enhancements delivered by new developments in interactive online learning. And what went before - largely the distribution of asynchronous content – is now accepted as inadequate and a poor substitute for classroom learning. It is an uncomfortable truth that the wholesale move to online learning for University students resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown has, with few exceptions, offered little more than conversation and remote document access via their VLE. We cannot go back. Interaction, engagement, and human connections that create a sense of belonging, in learning spaces where tutors connections with remote based students are reinforced with their hands and eyes, almost as if they were present together, are essential. Why? Because the go-to existing tools such as Microsoft Teams™ and Zoom™ were designed for online meetings and not online learning, and the pedagogies and cultures to drive real time online learning have not been widely developed. Because of COVID-19, universities have been forced online in a time frame and at a scale that has never been planned for, with a stark reality that 21st century connectivity and technology is supporting 19th century teaching methods by electronically distributing large volumes of information to mostly passive and powerless learners each sat in isolation from their classmates. In such instances, when students access material at a time of their choosing, there is no interaction between students or their tutor, no regard to wellbeing, and low satisfaction. We already know that student satisfaction levels for the current quality and volume of online learning caused by COVID- 19 is very low. There is every likelihood that social distancing will remain in place until 2022 and a vaccine has been developed, which will reduce the number of students physically allowed in teaching spaces. With a 2m distancing requirement, this has been modelled to reduce capacity by up to 82% in lecture spaces. The willingness of students to pay high fees for poor off- campus learning experiences is unsustainable, requiring universities to quickly and drastically improve their provision for real-time off-campus learning with remote based students, better ensuring that they are engaged in similar ways to being physically present, so that both their learning and satisfaction increase. We have to move forward quickly to a new normal with developments that don’t just address the needs of COVID-19, but which also have the potential to deliver new learning and working practices that will support positive climate change, and which will help the return of overseas students to the UK, albeit virtually in the first instance.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Socrates
NEWSLETTER NEWSLETTER
Visual Learning Lab
The
Remote and Hybrid Learning STEM Writing Wall Social Distancing
LEARN FROM ANYWHERE