Across the globe, enhancements to the student learning experience have been both disrupted and accelerated by the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, many universities did not offer online learning, and, as a result, many resisted and lacked the time and experience they needed to conceive new ways to deliver instruction and assignments (OECD, 2020).
In the 2021 United Kingdom Engagement Survey of 11,905 students, responses showed engagement was low in the areas of staff–student partnerships, interacting with staff, and learning with others. However, responses also demonstrated that remote learning, or a blended approach, did not have a negative impact on the acquisition of skills, and, in fact, enhanced multiple key skills in independent learning, time management and self-efficacy.
Advance HE has been supporting institutions across the globe to tackle this challenge. One project, on behalf of the British Council, took place in Ukraine in order to support staff with the transition to online teaching after a previously planned three-year Teaching Excellence programme had to be delayed.
With an extremely swift turnaround, a brand new ‘Introduction to Teaching Online’ programme, was developed. Underpinned by research into higher education teaching, the programme provided staff with practical digital tools, approaches and techniques, via synchronous and asynchronous activities, which they could implement in their online
or blended learning courses. Participants reported that the remodelled programme was very informative due to the number of online teaching techniques introduced to them at a time of rapid change and had inspired them to completely rethink their teaching practices.