Thursday, May 28, 2020

On-line College courses are here to stay

There's no going back to the old ways - at least not completely. There are many lessons to be learned from the current Pandemic, and one of them is that classes can be delivered on line much easier than many thought. A few short weeks ago I would not have been allowed to deliver a class from home. Two of my modules were delivered in a classroom computer laboratory - these switched to on-line in the last few weeks of the semester no problem at all. In the past few days I finished grading terminal assessments which replaced exams. While I have not decided if this is a good or bad thing yet - it is complete and it will be interesting to see if overall grades match previous years.

A lecture at the University of Bologna in Italy
in the mid-fourteenth century. The lecturer reads
from a text on the lectern while students in the back sleep.
Image source: Wikipedia.
Lauren Razavi, writing in The Guardian, tells us that "Students like the flexibility" that on-line universities provide. Lectures have been around for a long time, and not much has changed in hundreds of years. On-line options provide the flexibility like never before. The need to group students in a physical room for all classes is extinct.

While many of us with e-Learning backgrounds have been championing the use of technology in education for many years, we never quite got to the point of a revolution in education.  As Razavi points out in her article, the challenge now is "the scale and pace of change", and that the pandemic finally represents “a revolutionary moment".

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) - get used to it!

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