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Support for education bodies and professors returning to university this term

It isn’t just students who have reservations about returning to the classroom this year. For teachers, university professors and educational bodies, the number of ‘what ifs’ also leave much cause for anxiety.

· Online learning

It isn’t just students who have reservations about returning to the classroom this year. For teachers, university professors and educational bodies, the number of ‘what ifs’ also leave much cause for anxiety. How we plan courses has changed in order to facilitate social distancing as well as to future-proof, should another lockdown occur. Online offers are more relevant and necessary than ever.
 
A summer of learning
 
Over the summer, the technological and information resources available for online learning have vastly improved. For example, there was a new guide for faculty funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was released specifically to help navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
 
Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19 was created in the USA, in a collaboration between Every Learner Everywhere, a network of non-profits focused on student outcomes, and two of its member organisations, the Online Learning Consortium and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Their aim is to offer equity-minded online education strategies, especially for faculty who made their first foray into online education this year.

Designed as a summer guide to move beyond the initial emergency stop gap solutions when lockdown began, the playbook sought to provide best practice solutions for professors and teachers both at school and university level.

Creating more opportunities

However, now that we are heading back to school this autumn, the tools and processes available still remain as relevant as ever. Not only can they support a more flexible approach to the classroom should remote working be necessary again, but they also add new options to the learning suite that could have the capacity to enhance the course experience and learning process as well.

At CamVision, using online learning technologies to improve student outcomes is a big part of what we do. Providing processes that can be employed as products in their own right or incorporated into existing curriculums and courses, we are able to provide guidance and add extra flexibility for professors and educational bodies. At no time has that been more important than now, when many students may be anxious about returning to the classroom, and social distancing may necessitate smaller physical class numbers at any one time.

Mitigating anxiety

The anxiety over educational disruption, should another national or localised lockdown occur, is also a factor to consider when planning the content of a course and its delivery. This month has seen much debate over the adverse consequences of school closures as the pros and cons are weighed on returning to school for the autumn term. The same goes for those planning on attending or returning to university.
 
A report by UNESCO discussed points which apply both to school age children and university students. It detailed the damaging impact of things like the increased likelihood of dropout rates should a return to some degree of normality not occur. It also pointed to the stressful impact and long term damage to career, mental health and job prospects if students are not able to attain measurable validation of their education. While online learning may not make up for the social discrepancies should further lockdowns be needed, a flexible approach to the way education is delivered would ensure its sustainability.
 
What is possible by providing the pathways and mechanisms for delivering courses online as well as in person, is to mitigate against some of the anxiety that both students and university staff may have about returning to education, and the year ahead.

If you would like to speak to CamVision’s consultancy team about technological support and bespoke online courses, please contact us.

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