Prior the pandemic, digital learning has grown in traction in the past decade, thanks to rapid advances in videoconferencing, and teaching and learning technologies. With the onset of COVID-19, schools and institutes around the world raced to join online learning as their physical campuses closed. However, the lack of digital teaching resources and robust infrastructure rendered online learning less seamless as face-to-face lessons.
In this episode ‘The Case for Online Learning’, Dr Daniel Seah, Lecturer at the SUSS School of Law, shares about the impact of COVID-19 on the higher education landscape. He also suggests what changes will be temporary and what can industry players expect for the long term.
“What we have during the pandemic is a lot more people using online learning out of necessity. What the universities have been doing is not online learning but emergency remote learning,” explains Daniel, who adds that online learning has a pedagogy and a whole ecosystem apart from traditional teaching.
When the pandemic eases, Daniel believes that the incentive to resume face-to-face classes in the longer term will remain strong. As people are typically creatures of habit, many resources have been used to build and maintain the infrastructure of physical campuses; it is in the interest of universities to advocate the development of face-to-face courses.
But for now, learning will be a hybrid of education technology and analogue means. Educators would incorporate online components into campus-based courses while having the option to bring the coursework online in case of another emergency.
To get the best out of digital learning, Daniel encourages learners to adopt a growth mindset in life. “Resilience is very important because if you have the grit to get through this and still do well on a full online experience, you should have confidence in your workplace, at some point when another curve ball is thrown at you.”