Challenges & Opportunities for Learning in HE

I'm sure the lives of everyone in our global community have been immeasurably changed in the past few weeks by the spread of Coronavirus. As places of learning at all levels scramble to deliver teaching online whilst also trying to engage and inspire students at a very unnerving time I would be interested to hear how educators in universities are addressing this. If you are now delivering your courses online what challenges and opportunities does this offer? Have you any good practices or tips you would like to share? We'd love to hear your stories...

Please stay safe.

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  • I'd like to kick this off by sharing some very practical suggestions from Dr Lynn Gribble, a Senior Lecturer from the University of New South Wales in Australia:

    Lots of good tips Gill, I have worked from home and remotely on line for years  and have also raised a child as a single parent in the process:) Here are some that work well:

    Set up activities and timers - in these times no disturbing so emails can be quick to do , do them when little ones need more interaction, marking is a concentrated activity get up early, stay up late or put on a movie for those times.

    Always stick to what you say, so if it's a 15 min conversation  you cannot say 5 more minutes, it just leads to pester power, tell people you are juggling tow schedules.

    Set up lunch/snacks for the little ones at the start of the day so you can just hand it over.

    It may help to get them to wear their uniform and if you dress for work - everyone is at work now

    Set up and pack away work zones and transition to play and relax time so there are clear 'signposts' as to what to do and when and the associated behaviour.

    Finally, focus on what you do know rather than what you don't. Sounds simple but here is what we know right now. for the foreseeable future we will be working from home and remotely. We will not be able to run and play in parks or equipment like we used to

    But we have imagination and lots of on line things to do, each day have a virtual coffee with an extroverted mate - they need the contact. Try to watch a  play or a ballet or theatre (they need the money)  set it up, you could even get dressed up and make it special. Dance to music or sing out loud, its good for the soul (and no one can see or hear you!). For more practical tips on dealing with uncertainty I recorded this podcast last week with Andrew Grill, as part of his Practical Futurist series:

    S2 Episode 6: Thriving in a time of uncertainty with Dr Lynn Gribble

    Hope these help


  • Thanks Gill, on line learning is a wonderful opportunity for those in the class that may not wan t to 'speak up or out'. Personalisation is a foundation to consider. Start where your students are as they are less familiar with the technology and often with where the topic is headed.

    I use real time synchronous webinar technology when I can as it helps students to keep a study routine. It also provides a space to check in and redirect. Voice over PPT is also useful as is voice inserted in PDF. You can also put a voice file in your Turnitin feedback as a means of 'talking with' students.

    The human connection through hearing and seeing helps to connect.

    Stay safe and happy


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