New post on HEPI

Online learning: Are we asking the right questions?

Without warning, and almost overnight, the higher education sector has embarked on a whole-scale experiment in online learning. There is no doubt that this is a challenging time for both students and teaching staff, but what can the academic literature tell us about online learning?

Please click here to visit this blog which was kindly contributed by Rachel Ambler, an independent researcher, Gervas Huxley, Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol, and Mike Peacey, Senior Lecturer at the New College of the Humanities.

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In this review of the literature, we define online learning as ‘a learner’s interaction with content and/or people via the Internet for the purpose of learning’. For example, students interact by watching a pre-recorded lecture online (interaction with content) or participating in an online discussion group (interaction with people). An important distinction that the literature makes is between synchronous and asynchronous learning – whether student and teacher are online at the same time. A Zoom meeting is ‘synchronous’ whereas an instructor-moderated Facebook discussion is ‘asynchronous’.

Member benefit webinars – Covid-19 series

‘From emergency remote teaching to resilient systems for higher education’

21 and 28 April 09:00 BST

Details from Advance HE are here:

The last four weeks has seen an exceptional effort by the HE sector to continue to deliver or attain learning outcomes in non-ideal circumstances.  Students and staff recognised that achieving a perfect online learning experience was probably out of reach in the time frame available and most have exhibited great patience and humanity. However, as the crisis is set to continue into the next academic year, both returning and new students will be expecting an effective, accessible and flexible learning experience.

In the next two webinars in our COVID-19 series we will hear from academics on the frontline of the current crisis and those who have had years of experience in delivering flexible and accessible higher education. This webinar will help us to reflect on what we have learnt from this crisis to ensure that our approaches to curriculum design are flexible and agile enough to cope with a range of potential scenarios from some students not being able to attend campus either due to travel or health restrictions and/or further outbreaks leading to rapid campus closures.

Both webinars will be chaired by Advance HE’s Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching). Ahead of the webinar, Kay has written a blog offering initial insights. Read the blog here.

At Advance HE, we want our member benefits to be accessible to as many of our members as possible. All webinars in the Connect Event Series are recorded and available to watch at your convenience via the member benefits group on Advance HE Connect.