What I pulled out of the Changing Landscape of Online Education survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the future of higher education.

July 22, 2020
 

Spending time with the 2020 CHLOE 5 Special Report will provide you with an excellent ROI.

For those of you with no time to read the full report, I’ll share the 11 quotes that I pulled out as especially salient in thinking about the impact of COVID-19 on the future of higher education.

Institutions heavily invested in online learning had an easier time responding to the pandemic shutdown and pivot to remote teaching.

Comparison of the pivot experience of institutions with extensive pre-pandemic online programs to those without this experience and infrastructure draws out the implications of more widespread faculty and student familiarity with online learning and larger instructional design (ID) staffs for a successful pivot.

… the low numbers of ID staff at most institutions may be insufficient even to provide support for the creation of a small number of new online courses each year, much less to curate the expanding online course inventory.

While it is unrealistic to expect institutions to be staffed on a permanent basis for wholesale conversion of their curriculum in weeks or days, the pandemic may have persuaded many institutions that some augmentation of their ID staff would be prudent.

Faculty-student interaction, which has become a gold standard in fully developed online courses, was not baked into many remote courses during the pandemic, though, of course, there were exceptions.

Earlier CHLOE reports have found that when faculty members design their own courses without instructional design input, the resulting courses are paradoxically light in direct faculty-student and student-student interaction, and, instead, are heavily weighted toward student engagement with course materials. So it should be no surprise that little attention to faculty-student and student-student interaction characterized many remote courses.

Standardization of tools and technologies has long been a basic principle in well-structured and scalable online programs.

It should not be surprising that regional private universities, whose brand depends most on attracting students interested in small classes and close contact with faculty, reported the most negative student reactions to the pivot and toward online education. By and large, their students have chosen -- and are paying a premium for -- small face-to-face classes that stand in sharp contrast to the conditions of remote learning during the pandemic.

… it is apparent that the majority of chief online officers believe that, on balance, the reputation of fully online learning among previously nonparticipating faculty and students has not been damaged by the pivot experience and that exposure to less-than-ideal online remote courses may have actually broadened the potential audience for online learning in the future but also that there are strong opinions at either end of the spectrum.

… some faculty members who would not have voluntarily explored online tools and methods are discovering pedagogical and practical reasons to look favorably on the prospect of online teaching in the future. Comments in the CHLOE 5 Survey indicate this reaction among a significant portion of the professorate.

… the majority of campus students, most of whom would not have chosen to study online, are being exposed to remote instruction -- albeit, good, bad, or indifferent in quality -- and while some students are reacting quite negatively, others are liking the experience, recognizing some of the advantages of greater control over their time, and the potential of online study to accelerate reaching their academic goals.

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