Post Covid Teaching & Learning
In light of the latest nationwide lockdown and the implications that it has had on teaching and learning, educational leaders start to raise the question;
How will this change teaching and learning practice in years to come?
I have had some heated debates with leaders and stakeholders that feel passionately that there will be no 'new normal' in terms of teaching, instead they predict that teaching will resemble pre-covid face to face models of delivery. My main response to that is;
But why should they?
Educators and students alike have dedicated their time and effort to allow us all to deliver remotely, so why would we ignore these developments and successes to return to the norm. Learning technologists and digital leads have been preaching the benefits of blended learning models, peer-to-peer collaboration and online tools for years and yet it took a pandemic for some educators to truly engage with this change. Let us continue to build on the foundations that remote teaching has built (albeit during a chaotic time), to allow students and staff to enhance their digital skills and to think more creatively.
It is refreshing to work with educators who are now keen to become content creators, to innovate and to develop their skills proactively. We have seen a huge rise in the use of collaborative online tools, engaging resources, gamification and virtual reality. There are also huge benefits in terms of accessibility for all learners, differentiation for learning styles and the creation of an online community. Teachers can confidently select the most appropriate tool based on lesson content and course criteria, whilst monitoring learner progress with learner analytics as opposed to the widely known issue pre-covid of VLE's becoming glorified file repositories. Ultimately, teachers now know what questions to ask themselves when creating lesson plans and how their approach with remote learning has affected learners.
If institutions adopt a blended learning model for the next academic year with timetabled remote or flipped lessons we can continue to improve on our offerings, to allow all learners to succeed and to inspire educators to use digital tools. In my opinion, this has to be a fundamental part of our teaching practice and should be factored into observation frameworks and wider studies.