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Talis Elevate

The ‘next normal’ according to teaching and learning experts

Natalie Naik

At a recent event, Teach Learn Collaborate Repeat, we had the opportunity to host a panel discussion with teaching and learning thought leaders on the latest issues facing academics and students now, and in the post-pandemic world. Hear their responses in the snipped versions below (or watch the full video here.)

Our panel included:

  • Elaine Swift, Head of Digital learning and Teaching and the University of Worcester
  • Professor Rafe Hallett, Dean of Education at the University of Keele
  • Professor Keith Smyth, Professor of Pedagogy and head of learning and Teaching academy at the University of the Highlands and Islands

How can we take what we’ve learnt from the pandemic, and ‘build back better’?

Rafe Hallett talks about the newly launched ‘Educational Principles’ documentation at the University of Keele. This outlines the modes of engagement that were most successful, and identifies which should be continued, such as online learning communities and a more accessible, inclusive way of offering support.

Elaine Swift talks about having a period of reflection, and delving into deeper pedagogical questions and how they can apply new methods to their teaching moving forward.

Keith Symth discusses the pandemic through the lens of his university, which is dispersed across the Scottish Highlands and Islands. He impresses the need for digital solutions for learning to be as inclusive and as democratic as possible.

How can we normalise collaborative learning within our learning communities?

Elaine Swift recognises the growth in engagement online, as well as how online engagement practices can be modeled. She explains the need for online spaces to be available for students and staff.

Rafe Hallett reflects on a workshop run for staff at the University of Keele which highlighted the need for staff to also navigate online spaces provided to students to get a better understanding of the experience.

Keith Smyth talks about the online spaces created for students and staff such as online mentoring circles and drop-in training sessions, and the value of these.

What should we be doing to better support our communities with their digital capabilities?

Keith Smyth asks ‘to what extent can we reposition activities so that our learners are producing artefacts that are useful not just for themselves, but for the wider community too?’. He talks about the ethos of ‘students as producers’.

Rafe Hallett discusses curriculum design and development, and the importance of developing student capability by giving them a safe place to display and distribute their artefacts.

Elaine Swift explores how we can set students up for success at the very start of their academic careers with technologies and collaboration.

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