Opportunities for Educational Transformation from COVID-19 Disruption
Concurrent Session 4
A new research report on emergency remote instruction highlights the power of higher education communities in adapting to pandemic disruption. Session participants will learn how postsecondary institutions can apply pandemic experiences to rethink traditional classroom instruction and embrace sustainable digital transformation for more meaningful, engaged, and inclusive learning.
As higher education institutions emerge from the pandemic, there is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from our experiences - both from promising innovations and from challenges faced - to inform future digital education strategy. The session will focus on the outcomes of our “Report on Opportunities for Educational Progress from our COVID-19 Experience.” This report offers an overview of the impact of the pandemic on online teaching and learning practices at one institution during emergency remote pandemic instruction. The research and resulting report will serve as a catalyst for interactive discussion and reflection in our session.
This session encourages institutional leaders and all members of the higher education community to identify shared lessons in online teaching and learning from our pandemic experience. We will share our report on the impacts of emergency remote instruction, and invite participants to reflect on their own experiences in response. We will share our methodology and encourage participants to conduct their own research and reflection. Finally, we will seek to establish a community of practice of individuals in higher education seeking to transform education from what we’ve learned during pandemic-caused emergency remote instruction.
Research for this report occurred in two phases: first, an analysis of internal institutional resources and data; following that, we conducted over 50 qualitative interviews of about 60 minutes each with university leaders, faculty, staff and students from across the institution. This research and the resulting report will be deposited in the university’s archives.
Principal report findings reveal that: instructors’ efforts to express empathy were crucial in improving student wellbeing and success; emergency online instruction disrupted institutional identity and culture; the move to remote teaching increased access for some students, but not all; the faculty-student relationship has changed; and staff were critical change agents in rebuilding instruction in the online space. In particular, this report focuses on impacts of emergency remote instruction on student wellbeing, and on the connections between those impacts and larger problems of inequity in education.
Throughout the fall, the researchers will conduct interactive sessions across our institution designed to collaboratively brainstorm a transformative digital education strategy, using the report to inform discussions about what change is needed to meet the post-pandemic future of higher education. We will present the outcomes of that effort at the time of the conference.
By sharing our report and research design, we will invite session participants to reflect on their own pandemic teaching and learning experiences, and how their institutions might benefit from a research project capturing pandemic impacts. We seek to establish a community of practice in pandemic research in higher education. We will share our research model so participants can conduct their own study if interested.
Session participants will be invited to respond and reflect on our research findings in several Poll Everywhere activities throughout the presentation. Following each Poll Everywhere activity, a brief discussion will follow, inviting participants to respond to the poll responses. A fifteen-minute question and answer/discussion period will follow the presentation.