COVID-19 has changed education. Here are the 5 innovations that we should maintain
For universities and students, COVID-19 has been particularly difficult, and the disruption would undoubtedly continue after the launch of a vaccine. There have been and continue to be unprecedented demands on academic staff and students. In the midst of constant confusion, both must navigate the work-life balance when teaching and learning in a relatively unknown way.
Students and teachers, however, have significantly redefined their positions in higher education in the span of 12 months. Determination and invention have largely been challenged by major difficulties.
Here are five improvements made to higher education that after COVID-19 will be beneficial to proceed with.
I have recognized the tremendous potential for using technology to deepen and facilitate learning outside the classroom as a researcher whose work focuses on the economic investment and behaviour of students in higher education. This ability has been put sharply into focus with lecture halls standing empty.
The online learning world existed primarily as a virtual filing cabinet before the pandemic. It was a store of materials from the course, and not where any of the learning took place. With this online room, the pandemic has illuminated what can be done: it can be entertaining, enriching, and accessible.
Videos and interactive media are also part of how learners learn, and discussion boards make it possible to continue discussions and to document ideas outside lessons.
The very concept of student participation is controversial, and differs by context. Largely, however, it applies to the involvement of a student in their learning journey.
Engagement and attendance were frequently synonymous before the pandemic: the participation of a student in a course was calculated by whether or not they showed up for lectures or classes in person. We are forced to redefine what commitment actually entails, and how we can be sure it is happening, if no one can be physically present.
The conversations and debates in which students participate online can tell much more about participation than just being at a lecture. This is especially true for those with caring or childcare responsibilities, who may have found it difficult to attend a campus class regularly but are able to express their excitement and perspective more clearly online.
Final tests of high-stakes, such as written exams, carried out en masse under timed, silent conditions, are unlikely during a pandemic. What’s more, they are bad for the well-being of students, do not adequately reflect abilities such as imagination and sometimes bear no resemblance to the real-world environments that students would encounter after college. Instead of exploring a subject, conventional examinations concentrate on remembering knowledge.
Open-book evaluations, such as developing case studies, compiling policy briefing papers, and capturing podcasts, reward interest and academic inquiry. Here, examination is part of the journey of learning. In my teaching, I have used this, asking students instead of conventional essays to present videos, podcasts or blogs.