Due to Covid 19, almost every aspect of our lives and communities depends as never before on the ability to connect online. Remote teaching and learning, virtual classrooms, online course design are creating a new normal.
When countries around the world one by one started to close shops and museums, universities knew they were going towards the same fate. When the time came, universities and colleges had to face empty classrooms but packed online Zoom calls: digitalization of the classroom had finally arrived. While finding a way to let students have exams from home, hindering as less as possible the quality of the education provided.
Online education in its various forms can be an incredibly powerful tool to enhance it, by engaging students and giving them tools to work hand-on while building their knowledge.
We cannot say this revolution has been completely successful. The culture about online education has never been a friendly one, to say the least. So much that, around the world, students are threatening to uphold their fees because they feel they are not getting the education they paid for. These threats are echoed by the well-known idea that nothing can replace a teacher and human interaction. And this is true: nothing should. Not completely, at least.
Indeed, online education in its various forms can be an incredibly powerful tool to enhance it , by engaging students and giving them tools to work hand-on while building their knowledge. While many fully online courses have been proven a valid way to boost learning, humans and technology can and must cohesist by designing and implementing meaningful online learning activities.
Teachers, colleges, and universities now can (and also have to) provide better (meaning: great) online education, for a simple reason: students expect it. The hard truth is that excuses about the difficulty and inability of implementing online learning have been shattered like a house of cards from the COVID-19 situation. The good news is that if colleges can make it during a pandemic, they can also make it in normal times. With the right help.
Give value to your teachers, have a great online support, and use the experts you already have.
You already have experts: use them! - In your institution, you have teachers, instructional designers, admins, instructors, librarians, trainers, and so on who might already have experience in overseeing the implementation of online courses. Include them in your projects and listen to their advice!
Moreover, EdTech companies, especially in these times, are eager to help institutions with their transition online: you can greatly benefit from their consultancy.
Learn how your tools work, keep a schedule, keep it simple, help your students through the new online environment, stay human, and make learning sexy.
Online learning can be hard, but it is definitely worth the effort. It can spark creativity and collaborative learning in incredible ways. Do you have any cool ideas you would like to share with us? Are you curious about what FeedbackFruits can offer to empower your lectures? Contact us and we will be happy to help you as well as give space to your best practices and stories, or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the juiciest updates about educational technology!
 McGee, P., & Reis, A. (2012). Blended course design: A synthesis of best practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 7-22.
URL: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/13/students-say-online-classes-arent-what-they-paid Retrieved on 27/05/2020