The Covid Aftermath. Are Students Ready for Massive Online Learning?
Date Thursday, Nov 24 Time – Room Charlottenburg III
As we are now seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel? While we are trying to maintain the new and flexible ways of teaching and learning that we adopted during the pandemic, we need to be cautious not to “lose” the students. In this session, speakers discuss the first results of research about students’ skills and readiness for the hybrid classroom, from both a technological and social perspective. If student well-being is high on your agenda, make sure to show up to this session and share your experiences and concerns on the COVID aftermath.
Section Head of Module Development & Publications, Qatar University Young Scientists Center, Qatar University, Qatar
Dr. Zubair Ahmad , is currently working as section head of Module development and publication in Qatar University Young Scientists Center at Qatar University. He has an inclusive experience in design and executing cutting edge research projects with wide experience in project management in terms of progress monitoring, costs follow-up, contractual and administrative follow-up, exchange of scientists and publications. His team leading capabilities are obvious from his role in publications with more than 185 research articles in the well reputed international journals besides the 3 international patents (filled) and 2 book chapters. He has been continuous working with many funded and non-funded projects in sustainable energy as well as capacity building projects as in High school Research Experience Programs (HSREP) and Undergraduate Research Experience Programs (UREP) since 2016. He has also played a leading role in two others successfully completed international research projects funded by the Japanese Society for Physical Sciences (JSPS) and Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia.
Head of Graduate Studies - Instructional Technologies, HIT, Israel
Dr. Eran Gal is a digital learning and learning innovation expert with over 20 years of experience in applying cross-company technology-based learning solutions.
Dr. Gal heads the graduate program at the Instructional Technologies Faculty, HIT.
Dr. Gal teaches learning design an innovation. He also oversees the research initiatives of the program focusing on empirical research of organizational and technological enhanced learning
Wim de Boer
Strategic Education Advisor, University of Twente, Netherlands
Wim de Boer is a Strategic Education Advisor at University of Twente. Recently, he worked as a senior education advisor & researcher at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. He studied educational sciences and technology at the University of Twente and completed his Ph.D. at that same university on the use of ICT for flexible learning. Wim worked within the Netherlands within the curriculum institute, as an educational publisher, as a teacher, researcher and educational advisor. He also worked in Africa (Mozambique, Uganda) and South America (Ecuador) on projects within primary, secondary and higher education, always focused on educational change and innovation. His interest lies in the development of flexible learning programs and how lecturers could be best supported in the design of that. Wim participated in many international conferences, has published in books and journals and is responsible for a number of websites and educational platforms. A summery can be found on www.wimdeboer.nl.
Herman van der Merwe
Deputy Dean: Teaching & Learning, North-West University, South Africa
Prof Herman calls himself a “recycled Geneticist”, but his previous Vice-Chancellor renamed him “e-Man” to capture his fascination for the use and management of technology in education!
Currently Deputy Dean of the Faculty Economic and Management Sciences, responsible for Teaching and Learning and the CEO of an expert centre called CUTE (Centre for the Utilisation of Technology in Education).
A CoP in innovative teaching and learning with technology (iTLT) support his research initiatives in a creative environment.
In 2015 the University recognised his contribution to innovation with an “Innovation Evangelist” award.
“As a teacher, researcher, policy advocate, manager and leader, he is a visionary leader whose fascination with technology has been informed by his commitment to serving the highest ideals of people and education.” Prof Reggie Ncobo
Designing Flexible Teaching and Learning that Keeps Students Motivated and With Positive Results, Wim de Boer
This presentation looks at the motivation of students when they returned to campus and how this relates with new and flexible ways of teaching and learning that were adopted during Covid.
During COVID-19, teachers got acquainted with new technologies for teaching and learning. Within Windesheim University of Applied Sciences we introduced new tools to support live sessions and asynchronous learning. The idea was that when things would return back to normal and we could get back to campus, to try to keep the good things that we adopted during Covid: new and flexible ways of teaching and learning, such as through the hybrid classroom.
In a set of pilots, we learned more about it, closely supported it and evaluated it with students and teachers. Meanwhile, we noticed that classrooms in 2021/2022 weren’t as full as they should be, students seemed less motivated, and results became concerning: students seemed “off”.
In an evaluation with teachers and management we concluded that a more flexible approach was needed, in line with our new vision on learning (a personal, challenging, and flexible learning experience). However, we needed to be very cautious not to “lose” students because of the troubled times they experienced.
Students need to appreciate studying as part of a community. It is important for their well-being and relates positively to their motivation. The more flexible a curriculum is, the more the learning design need to be clearly structured. This helps students to organise their learning activities. These insights from theory and practice had implications for the redesign of our curricula.
In this presentation we want to share our experiences. We want to hear from others about their experiences in the matter and how they support the curriculum (re)design in their institutions.
- Better understand what students who experienced studying during COVID times coped with, with respect to motivation and self-efficacy.
- Value the use of educational design-based research in pilots to learn more from how innovative learning and teaching works, to create better learning designs.
- Reflect on your own support structures in your institution and get inspired by that of others.
Transformation or Reaction? Long-Term Covid Effects on Higher Education, Eran Gal
This presentation explores the rapid transformation and its long-term effects on higher education. It is based on research performed by the Instructional Technologies faculty at HIT throughout 2020 and 2021 the collection of data from both students and faculty.
From March 2020 till mid - late 2021, most academia campuses were closed for frontal studies and social activities. University teachers/lectures went online on a moment notice. The digital learning transformation was complete but not permanent. As Covid hazards were reduced dramatically in late 2021, Campuses re-opened and most returned of frontal teaching on campus.
As we are now seeing the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, it's time to seriously consider how to design higher education learning experience looking forward. If we are to stay online at least 30-50%, we need to consider teachers' and students' skills and readiness for massive online learning.
Our research shows social and pedagogical skills are imminent for a successful online experience. It also shows that the entire system is focused on the skill set of teachers, and those of students are completely neglected. In this session, participants aiming at successful hybrid programmes will receive recommended tools and insights based on research for skill mastering programmes for both students and teachers.
The preliminary research which will be discussed in this session included 103 university teachers who experienced the Covid teaching transformation. The research focused on three aspects considered by literature fundamental for teachers' successful transitions: Technological, social, and pedagogical.
Results revealed the story of a quick but decisive change in which the social aspect played a critical role. The change was supported by massive "learn as you go" by both private and institutional bound initiatives. Following the first three months of online teaching, teachers claimed success from a pedagogical point of view with massive investment in content redesign and development. The main barrier was and still is social behaviour and communication with students in an online session.
At the end of the presentation, we will reveal our updated post Covid graduate programme based on 80% remote teaching and both students’ and teachers’ views as to digital learning experiences over time.
- Understand how the rapid transformation from March 2020 contributed to changes in the teaching and learning experience.
- Receive research-based recommendations for teachers' training tracks for mastering effective online teaching.
- Be able to construct your own online learning and teaching training tracks.
Redefining Undergraduate Internship: Sustaining Students’ Online Learning Using EdTech, Zubair Ahmad
This presentation discusses the diverse approaches carried out by faculty members at a national university to combat the limitations faced in the abrupt change of the internship ecosystem from an on-campus to a virtual mode during the pandemic.
The research faculty of the center provides efficient services for undergraduate students during summer and winter with different types of research experience programs.
Prior to the Covid era, students were provided with the opportunity to work in funded research projects for a short span of time, specializing in a particular skill set like material processing, simulations, fabrication, data analysis and so on. With the onset of Covid, the undergraduate student internships could no longer be practiced outside the country or even at their university campuses.
Challenges we faced were:
- Students were deprived from hands-on research experiences in real world research laboratories and from the opportunity to familiarize with lab equipment through lab-based scientific research internships.
- Students were deprived from conducting field experiments and social research (including group discussions, market studies and analysis) or from in-person communication through managerial apprenticeships by joining a corporate team.
These constraints opened up the digital transformation of internship programs in our center and paved new pathways for the future scope of our project. Our approach was a technology-driven internship model, that exercised a smooth transition of practical learning platforms using Edtech tools:
- Students were offered online internship courses using diverse Edtech tools that facilitated research-based learning.
- Students of social science discipline, conducted online research that included data collection via surveys, interviews and data analysis.
- Students of scientific and engineering disciplines were provided with online lectures on fabrication and engineering-based activities through simulations and videos.
Through this encompassing approach, the center was able to define solutions that provided a new direction to empower the young generation in a constantly evolving digital world.
Students now receive a flexible learning plan and better opportunities, as they are now offered both offline and online courses. It also increased the students’ opportunities to attend multiple courses delivered at the same time through both synchronous and asynchronous sessions and even those delivered at different venues. A student in India for example can now attend an in-person internship at a local company and at the same time attend the lecture recordings of internship sessions held at Qatar University.
- The aftermath of a 2-year Covid period that successfully enabled a considerably more flexible system of attending internships both online and On-Campus
- How efficiently do online internships enhance student engagement in comparison with in-person internships.
- New possibilities in developing adaptable internship programs.