Reflections on 2020
This has been the most incredible year as far as online teaching is concerned.
As I reflect upon where we were in January to where we are today no one could have predicted the surge, interest and application of online courses.
Pre pandemic I had lamented at the lack of interest and take up of online lectures. I can recall comments about how online lectures and courses did not stand up against face to face lectures and whilst in some cases this is true the 180 degree turnaround in terms of take up that I have seen from academics to students has been astounding.
You could say they had no choice and in every practical sense this is true. However, the speed at which academics have had to adapt their practice is unprecedented.
I have been teaching online for over a decade and the time it has taken me to perfect a myriad of techniques has been no mean feat.
The majority of academics have had to change the way they teach overnight. Academics have now reached the part of the academic year where we can hopefully reflect, recuperate and regroup. The new term will allow us to reshape, rethink and redesign the way in which we teach, be that online, synchronous, asynchronous, blended or hybrid.
Now that academics have grown accustomed to the new method of teaching the emphasis now lies not so much on what resources are used to deliver lectures but how those resources are being used.
I anticipate that academics feel much more comfortable experimenting with the various tools embedded within some of these resources and create lessons that are appreciably more interactive and engaging e.g utilising quizzes, polling, mixing media, offering class materials in a variety of formats and reflecting up the activities and topics that produce the highest level of engagement.
When academics engage with students there is a marked effort from students to complete assignments and homework and are more likely to be academically successful.
As academia embarks on a new year and horizon I am really excited to be able to coach, mentor and train lecturers on creating new experiences, develop curricula based on digital, blended and hybrid delivery and I’m looking forward to sharing outcomes as the year unfolds.