Covid-19 and (re)learning teaching: Never let a crisis go to waste
For universities around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transition to online (remote, distance) education as authorities implemented measures to reduce infection rates. In Sweden, universities witnessed roughly 18 months of continuous online education, followed by a period of mixed and campus-based learning environments in the autumn of 2021, and a return to online education in early 2022 as infection rates increased. The Swedish government’s removal of restrictions and plans to remove Covid-19’s classification as a disease dangerous to society (samhällsfarlig sjukdom), however, suggest that universities will no longer be required to offer online instruction. In response to this shift, and in the spirit of Winston Churchill’s call to “never let a good crisis go to waste,” we investigate some changes in teaching and learning caused by the Covid transition. Findings in international studies about university adaptations to Covid and quantitative and qualitative data from our home institution indicate that distance education catalysed new technological engagements for students and teachers, while also reinforcing pedagogical and didactical developments discussed in the literature on teaching and learning in higher education. In other words, the Covid crisis encouraged instructors to (re)learn to teach – not merely by adopting new technologies, but also by implementing student-centred learning. To illustrate this claim, we examine key changes made by teachers in our department, which include pre-recorded minilectures, student-response technologies, and other practices loosely classifiable as interactive learning. These adaptations could facilitate teaching and learning on campus, should teachers choose to continue using them.
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student-centered learning, Covid-19, digitalization, online/remote/distant education
Copyright (c) 2022 Arne Frederik Wackenhut, Maris Boyd Gillette
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