Will there be a before and after COVID 19 in higher education?
COVID19 does not change educators or students, it changes methods and attitudes towards the digital world.
Some people have been asking if C19 would change the learning processes from now on because it is clear that there have been significant changes in the way we teach and work “the classroom” during these days.
Looking at it with perspective, the process of learning or teaching had already changed, what happens is that many had resisted the change until now, when there is no choice.
When I say resistance, I mean that schools or teachers didn't need to change pedagogical methods and tools if no one or nothing pushed them to do so. But nowadays there’s no choice, so it’s either to innovate or to close.
But there is also resistance from students and families. Mainly because families still think that a classroom experience via “desk culture” is better than anything else that’s digital… until now. Families are seeing that students are still able to socialize similarly; collaborative work is done more effectively, and knowledge is consolidated in the same way or even better, the resistance and aversion to the online method decreases.
As for undergraduate and even less so, postgraduate students, it is not at all uncommon to consider a 100% online or blended option, so the C19 has not changed the perspective.
The C19 is a gift from a pedagogical point of view, it has been a challenge for many teachers to adapt the format and teaching methods to ensure that the pedagogical objectives are achieved. Through this success path and failures, the learning experience is being improved day by day, during these days of boredom and confinement.
The ecosystem of educational applications or Edtech is very wide:
Here is a list of useful tools in the market that we have gathered:
- Video conferencing (Zoom, Teams, Hangouts, Skype, Meet ...)
- Class animation / animation (Kahoot, Quizizz, Socrative, Classdojo, ...)
- Content co-creation - project organization (Miro, Trello, Basecamp, google Docs, Slack…)
- Online whiteboard (Queeky, bubbl.us, notebookcast, jamboards ..)
- Evaluation and test (Learning Pod, proprofs, Examtime, Socrative, Google Forms, Questbase, Thatquiz, Testmoz…)
- Proctoring (Smowl, eProctoring, Mettl, ...)
- Anti-plagiarism (Plagiarism, Viper, PlayScan, google books, ...)
- LMS (Moodle, Docebo, Canva, Kenexa, Cornerstone, SmartClassroom, Virtagora…)
- Author elearning (Articulate, Ispring, Captivate, Gomo, Flliping book, Content Cloud…)
- Video tutorials (Camtasia, Captivate, Camstudio, Xbox Game Bar, Screen or matic, Loom)
In the first place will be those that enrich the learning process and have achieved true engagement with students.
Secondly, those tools and technologies that are quick to learn and easy to use, and that produce results "on the fly".
Thirdly, those that are affordable for centers or universities, in case of Spain, for instance, where the funds are limited, except for private universities.
And fourthly, those technologies that can be integrated via API with the center’s LMS, because it is increasingly important to keep track of the teaching process, and the relationship with the student.
The C19 imposes short-term changes, but does not have such a long-term disruptive capacity. And yes, we are in a current of change. I would like to answer that e-learning and face to face practices as understood so far, will not be the future. In these historically antagonistic teaching modalities there will be some convergence in method, and above all, an improvement in student engagement.
The self-consumption Elearning without engagement, poor, "pass screens", "digitized pdf" or pasted youtube videos… is dead. We will have much more enriched learning experiences mainly online in international environments, with students from many countries, with on and off socialization mechanisms, with very enriched activities, influenced by the communication techniques of content marketing, content co-creation, collaborative work and with very personalized attention. Much presence of the first international brands of higher education.
In the face to face we will have less face-to-face class, but more impact. Personal experiences with teachers with a better personal brand and less with second or third level teachers. Lesser-known teachers will be more focused on content curation or tutoring. Less travel, more participation, less absenteeism (more control), less waste of time, more valuable (or meaningful) learning. In engineering we will see a proliferation of technology to simulate non-destructive testing and other methods of practice at home.
The reduction of physical infrastructure costs (or their absence) and the explosion of digital will allow the creation of much more specialized programs and itineraries, but also aimed at a global audience, no longer just local (long tail).
As programs and degrees become more global and relocated, as technology allows for synchronous work and study from home, schedules and calendars will be tailored to the needs of students and not so much that of teachers. Of course, three months of vacation or choosing between morning or afternoon classes is becoming increasingly unsustainable.
We will also see online some offshoring of student follow-up assignments or correction of exams that will be done with professionals from countries with lower salary cost (such as Kenya or India for US or LATAM for ES). On the contrary, it is becoming more and more common to do a face-to-face postgraduate course at a Chinese university, they are getting better and better and the costs have nothing to do with those of an American university.
In this sense, just as companies are in a war for talent, Spanish universities will fight for enrollment like never before, as in 10 years there will be half of the university students than we have now, if the university students - non-university students ratio is maintained. But at the same time, due to the need for recycling we will go through the classrooms in our lives several times in our life Long Life Learning (LLL) so the "frequency of purchase" will increase. Consequently, public, semi-public or private universities will have permanent customers and not students. And this is something that has not yet been understood or changed by the C19. In fact, a frontist attitude persists and will persist in teachers on this subject, who consider that education is above the market.
Author: Carles Roca