英国学者因转型在线教学“濒临崩溃”

心理学家称,学者们仍处于“紧急”状态,而大学应该认识到,就教学质量而言,来年“可能并不辉煌”

九月 18, 2020
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一位心理健康专家称,由于将教学转移到线上的压力,全英国的学者正“濒临崩溃”,她敦促谨慎判断远程教学在即将到来的学年内是否会成功。

伦敦国王学院(King's College)心理学高级讲师、慈善机构“学生心灵”(Student Minds)的创始人尼古拉·拜伦(Nicola Byrom)表示,新冠疫情大流行创造了“提高高等教育普及率的真正机会”,并创造了通过拥抱技术“为学生提供更好学习体验”的机会。

但是,她说,对此次危机的利用还存在“局限性”,大学须“牢记目前所面临挑战的规模”。

她在泰晤士高等教育举办的“学生成功论坛”上表示:“我认为,全国各地学者整个夏季都面临着重新设计教学的压力。他们不得不应对评估的变化、秋季学期的不确定性,然后重新设计他们的教学方式。所有这些变化都是实质性的,且变化难以应对。”

拜伦博士补充说,初级学者面临着“最大的压力”,因为他们的高教学负担加上职业不确定性的压力,在许多情况下他们还需要照顾幼儿。有鉴于此,她说,各机构“需要仁慈地认识到来年可能并不辉煌”,并认识到在线教育的质量可能不如预期的那么好。

 “这是对提供在线教学的紧急响应。” 她继续说: “如果我们今年交付的课程不是很出色,那并不意味着这种在线转变是不好的。这意味着需要花时间去适应变化、学习新技能并以此为基础继续发展。”

“我想提醒大家在判断今年的网课是否有益时要谨慎,因为我认为在紧急情况应对中,它能带来的益处可能会比今年我们看到的更多。”

ellie.bothwell@timeshighereducation.com

本文由张万琪为泰晤士高等教育翻译。

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Reader's comments (5)

As my wife (a University lecturer) just said......"..off to another morning fighting with technology". There has been no thought whatsoever given to the amount of additional work created. My own University even re-designed the VLE over the summer, creating another mountain of unwanted additional work.
Equally no thought has been given to the difficulties and extra work faced by professional services staff in implementing and supporting the technologies enabling the provision of online teaching and working from home and the pace with which this needed to be done. Surely the technology which has created a safe environment for staff and students to work in is a thing to be welcomed ? Maybe a positive that can come out of this crisis is that University staff will embrace the skills necessary to adapt and survive in a digital world, seeing the benefits new systems and processes can bring to the learning experience, rather than being shackled by the aversion to change which has held progress back for so long.
Some of the academics should wise up and get on with their jobs and stop moaning. If they cannot cope then they should look for another career, the students are fine with technology and if the academics are no good at it do the training and make your module interesting. I really have no sympathy for all the moners and groaners in this case.
The shift to the online academic environment and teaching space has in many cases gone quite smoothly and many academics have made the transition. They have adapted and engaged in online technologies and the associated implications. The process has been challenging. The process has generated anxiety and this continues, universities should find time to investigate this and understand it. Teaching loads of staff and junior staff in particular have been impacted and this needs to be acknowledged, in the first instance. There are issues of skill matching and utilisation to consider. Performance metrics should be revisited and adjusted to reflect the current situation. Probably a survey of staff and, indeed students would be useful. For sure, the educational environment has changed, and a comprehensive strategic response is required.
Again we generalise. Both in articles and in commentary. Some academics will still be in panic mode and struggling with technology as well as redesigning the familiar. Others will be embracing technology or have been waiting for this opportunity for some time. Others will be going with a mixed approach of using technology to make the familiar as engaging as they can without losing the pedagogy from trying to cram in too much "dynamism and excitement" with endless online polling in quizzes and and small group work thinking it's the digital answer to the didactic lecture. Equally some students will be perfectly fine with the technology. And they will have two monitors and good connectivity. Others will struggle to login and not be used to having to do much more than save their passwords and never remember them again. And at the same time professional services staff will find themselves with backlogs of work to do through a blend of all of the above as the normal problems with registration, academics not finding what they need or not having access to do many things themselves, and incomplete lists of students and timetabling errors and eccentricities become magnified and staffing numbers are stretched. There will be lessons learnt. And there will be positives to come out of all this. And yes some people are strained and stressed and stretched. And some students are scared. And some students are excited and embracing the start of this new year. But what we have to stop doing is failing to recognise that a university is an adapting and evolving living organism that is so much more than the generalised statements put out about "all the hard work everyone is doing" and "student experience will suffer" or "academics are at breaking point". Every course is different. Every academic is different. Every university has its own processes and procedures. Not every academic works hard. Not every student wants a large-scale lecture or a small group session. No university is a one size, one approach fits all. And it shouldn't be - because we're people and we all have different skills and strengths and weaknesses.

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