It was almost a year to the day that we first went into some form of lockdown in the UK. I am about to attend the same conference I attended last year, a conference that still took place physically but with an apparent level of trepidation in the air about what was coming next.
A week later, campuses were closed. It’s bizarre looking back at how much has changed.
A number of conversations topics have been permeating through the sector over the past year at every institution. We’ve gone from emergency teaching, to ‘the new normal’, to now starting to think about what future is going to look like.
Right now, we are thinking about what teaching is going to look like in September, what the COVID impact will be on international students, on campus life, on course delivery and so on.
Something I’ve been thinking about more and more recently is what moving forward post-Pandemic is going to look like. You can read Sean Micheal Morris’s article on Best Practices after the pandemic here. I find this a really thought-provoking piece, that puts compassion and criticality at the heart of pedagogy.
Sean is based in the US, but his reflection on the micro and macro level bad practices certainly have resonance in the UK too.
He recommends that we need to ensure we are moving forward, and that we continue the good practice that’s emerged, and remove any of the bad we’ve identified.
Whatever normal looks like for the new academic year or moving forward, it’s safe to say we will be feeling the aftermath of the pandemic in many areas of our working and personal lives. Our pedagogy and practice will need to adjust to accommodate a new level of flexibility.
We’ve spoken to a number of academics this year who have found new and innovative ways of incorporating online teaching and learning into their courses. You can read an interview with Helen Nichols here, about they’ve overcome their challenges and built a community within their Criminology course at the University of Lincoln.