COVID and learning and teaching

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I have been reflecting on the impact of COVID on working practices. Many of us are now working from home. This is made easier by the range of online tools now available to share and discuss our ideas; Google Docs is now frequently used to co-create documents, and tools such as Teams and Zoom are now commonly used. Most of us are comfortable using these and of course there is the opportunity for sessions to be recorded. Whilst this is good in that it enables us to continue working together many of us are missing face-to-face interaction. There are a number of benefits, for example: visual clues from colleagues and the value of coffee room interactions. A key question is what will the longer-term impact be? Will we return to our previous ways of working or adopt a more blended approach and continue to use Google Docs, Teams and Zoom? This useful link lists the following factors:

 

  1. The test optional movement will become permanent
  2. Higher education institutions will be increasingly and lastingly held accountable to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) metrics
  3. Although most students desire a return to in-person learning, the majority also want to continue having the option to take classes online
  4.  The norm that all lectures are video recorded for student review later
  5. There will be strong and lasting demand among both faculty and staff to continue to have work-at-home or other virtual work options
  6. The long-standing emphasis on building the physical infrastructure of college campuses will give way to an emphasis building the virtual infrastructure
  7. Virtual internships and jobs will grow in prevalence
  8. Employers will continue to drive a growing movement toward non-degree education and non-traditional degrees
  9. Many universities made innovative changes to their academic calendar during Covid and are now recognising that these changes can provide valuable flexibility to both students and faculty while also providing degree acceleration opportunities for those looking to graduate more quickly
  10. There will be a new kind of price war in higher education
  11. Elite colleges and universities are no longer role models

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