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FeedbackFruits Higher Ed Weekly Digest 19/06

Elena Pricop
June 19, 2020

As we promised, on a weekly basis we bring you the most popular content of the higher education community for the past week. You can send your suggestions for future articles to Enjoy!

Must-Read Articles

Is this the right time to seriously question the educational system? What are other serious problems that can seriously affect education and were forgotten because of the current pandemic?

These are some of the issues present and debated in last week’s most popular worldwide content in the higher education community.

1 - Imagining the post-pandemic university

To have a nice start, we genuinely recommend this first article. Jody Greene creatively asks us to imagine how a post-pandemic university would look like. 

This article is useful for anyone curious to explore various changes that the worldwide educational system might face in the near future. The author invites us to explore the summary on how education was before the pandemic, and how it might change after it. She delves into interesting perspectives and intrigues us from the beginning. What educational system elements universities are clinging to, that didn’t work well in the first place? What if we could “spend time imagining more effective, interesting, and engaging ways to teach large numbers of students at a time, perhaps through hybrid models developed specifically to support student learning?” 

If you were intrigued by this short description, you will be even more intrigued after you read the entire article.

2 - The pandemic & higher education: Old problems, new opportunities

Following on the same topic, in this article, Barbara Kurshan is cleverly interfering with our perception of the current education. Is this occurring pandemic to be blamed for the shortages in education? Or is just the element that pushed everyone to reconsider already existing problems, that we can no longer hide or postpone? She is pushing us to recognize and pinpoint the downfalls of higher education and make the effort to see the new opportunities. Now is the moment to step away from what is not anymore relevant to the needs of today’s learning experience and outcomes, and be driven to explore and create more innovative solutions that better fit society and education.

3 - One example of climate change directly impacting higher education

As for our last weekly recommendation for you to read, we decided to change the topic a bit. This is an important issue that concerns every one of us. Even though the worldwide lock down has taken away the public’s attention from climate change, this still remains an important problem that needs solutions, as its impact is widespread, which includes education. 

For example, Florida Miami-Dade county can be severely water damaged by 2080 due to climate change. According to the author of the article, Bryan Alexander, there are at least 13 major universities in that area whose campuses can be in danger of natural calamities in the next years if proper climate mitigation is not embraced. He challenges different ideas that can potentially alleviate the situation. What are universities, including everyone involved in these organizations, from managers to students, willing to do in order to prevent and ease climate change? How are government institutions going to support universities in their efforts to stop climate change, and possibly repair the damage?

Must-Listen Podcasts

Is there anyone who is not following at least one podcast? See our top-picks below.

1 - Carrying out a ”more online every semester” strategy

How universities can get prepared for a “more online every semester” strategy? 

This podcast episode is perfect for teachers, instructional designers and university management who want to learn what other universities are doing in order to maintain high-quality courses delivered in an online environment. What strategy has this specific university created to ensure it is capable to satisfy the needs and expectations of their students?

2 - Learning in a time of pandemic 

“Every type of professor and every type of course needs to be evaluated towards learning outcomes.” David Rhoads

If you agree with this quote, this episode podcast is for you. David Rhoads is informing us from his perspective about how the educational system can change in a better way. Throughout the entire conversation, the speaker tackles a multitude of ideas related to the topic, and he also gives a clear description of the experience students would have when studying in a HyFlex learning system. 

Some of the questions that this podcast is trying to answer are:

  • What are challenges, what are the opportunities for students, as well as for teachers that this model brings? 
  • How universities have to prepare before actually implementing this model? 
  • How Hyflex learning can better prepare students for their career? 

Events To Attend

Continue learning about higher education through engaging events and conferences, even in an online format.

1 - Using evidence-based solutions to reduce absenteeism / July 8th

Are you familiar with situations when students don’t attend their course, due to lack of the necessary motivation or other reasons? It might not sound like a big issue, but students that miss 15 or more days in a school year, defined as chronic absenteeism, can be related to student learning outcomes, student success and even to well-being in adult life. 

This is a real problem in education, and the sooner is discussed and analyzed the better. Edsurge is hosting an online webinar that will benefit everyone, from teachers to educational managers, ed-tech experts, parents and students themselves. The panellist will discuss multiple perspectives on how the problem can be tackled. They will delve into strategies that can motivate students to attend their lectures on a daily basis, how data can actually pinpoint the causes of a student's absence, and many more. 

If this is a topic of your great  interest, we definitely recommend this webinar.

2 -Distance teaching and learning 2020 Conference / August 3-7 

Are you a teacher, an educational researcher, an educational designer or part of an ed-tech corporation? No matter what your level of involvement with education is, this conference will help you build an international network, listen and interact with experts in the field of distance education and online learning. And most importantly, you will familiarize yourself with new and emerging technologies specifically designed and developed for online teaching and learning.

Must-Watch Videos

This list would not be complete without this terrific video!

1 - Inspiration Day

Now more than ever we need Empowering Pedagogical Tools for our educational system. This collection of videos is meant to inspire teachers, higher education management, instructional designers, edtech experts, as well as anyone else curious on how innovation actions support the development of current education.  

FeedbackFruits, together with speakers from various universities such as Deakin University, Monash University, Griffith University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and more, talked extensively about innovative and engaging educational tools that are specially created to support the learning experience of students, as well as the teaching experience of teachers.

You can find the event recordings and presentations on this page.

2 - Testing the waters of bringing students back to school

The majority of students were able to adapt to the rapid and challenging transition from on-campus lectures to online ones. But that is not the case for everyone.

This short video is for everyone curious to see how various schools in the US decided to support their most vulnerable students during the corona lockdown. Explore the encouraging story that Edutopia shared with everyone. It’s uplifting to see how despite the difficulties that the educational system is currently facing, schools and teachers managed to quickly and safely adapt to all these changes so that they can deliver the best education possible for students with special needs. So far, today’s educational technology just simply cannot replace face-to-face learning with online learning for this specific category of students. Learning should be available to everyone, and this is the purpose of everyone involved in education. This desire just simply cannot be stopped.

Final Words

A lot is changing in the higher education community right now and we know that it is difficult to keep up. We will try our best to keep you posted with some of the most popular content that we find helpful for the community. You can subscribe to our newsletter for more exclusive content. See you next week!

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