Digitization is the means, not the end

Digitization is the means, not the end

This text is a discussion post. The content of the text expresses the opinion of the author.

After nearly two years With the pandemic, we can finally welcome students to campus. The question is not whether we are for or against the digitization of education, but how we can use what we have learned about digitization to increase learning outcomes.

when we discuss Digitizing education, we easily end up in one of two trenches. If the goal is to go back to the way it was before the pandemic, we will miss out on a lot of progress and learning. But if we demand digitization of all teaching, even when it is no longer necessary for reasons of infection control, we are entering the trench on the other side and bypassing important observations about well-being and learning.

as Sten Runar Ludvigsen existsThe choice of future teaching methods should be made on the basis of academic considerations. What is most important is what ensures the best learning outcomes for students.

In the last years He showed that the digitization of education is possible to an extent that many of us cannot even imagine. For some students and teachers, digitizing teaching has been a very positive experience. Some indications are also that the restructuring has gone really well.

The dropout rate has not increasedstudents do not iron more than before, and the grade level at least is high. However, one might wonder if the official indicators tell the whole story. Kjetil van der Wel conducted research on the digitization of teaching, and suggested that Dropout stats and scores may mask low requirementsAnd the Or assessment methods such as home tests make success easier.

We look at others Indications, we find another story. In surveys, many students say they They missed the social environment, and many felt lonely. The vast majority of students believe that learning outcomes have deteriorated and are less motivated. The majority of teachers also feel that students are learning less and want to come back for more physical education.

These surveys However, it may be characterized by the fact that rapid change has led to what is called “emergency distance teaching” – emergency solutions with few conscious ideas about what one is doing. some surveys It may indicate that digital opportunities for active forms of learning have not been sufficiently exploited, especially at the difficult initial stage.

Before we make decisions On future teaching methods, at OsloMet we have conducted focus groups to gather experiences from staff and students. So far, comments indicate that future teaching is mixed.

This means first of all That we must have physical and digital themes. While some subjects do well digitally, others want to return to physical education whenever possible. Teaching practical skills, such as lab work, physical therapy, or craft skills, has been a challenge in digitization.

Many of them were creativeAnd he went to great lengths to show, for example, how to sew via Zoom. However, it’s something else that you can meet and show how the texture of the canvas works, without the need for a screen in between.

More topics It can successfully combine physical and digital teaching. Tutoring can work well in Zoom, and many experiences in contacting students in practice are enhanced through digital solutions. Many students and teachers have good experiences with flipped classrooms.

Doing excercise This means, for example, that students first get access to digital learning materials, such as short recorded lectures. Next, they meet physically to discuss the material with the available teacher. Digital tutoring provides new opportunities to energize students, through, among other things, chatting, online appointments and separate rooms in Zoom.

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educational research Shows that students’ active learning forms provide better learning outcomes. Therefore, these opportunities are especially interesting. Technology will continue to evolve, and artificial intelligence and gaming platforms, for example, will be able to provide entirely new opportunities for digital teaching.

To teach the future Perhaps mixed, however, does not mean that it is mixed. The use of the terms varies, but in this context hybrid is used around teaching that has elements of both physical and digital teaching, while hybrid is reserved for situations where one group of students is physically present with the teacher, and another group participates digitally.

impression of Surprisingly, Oslo teachers and students are in agreement: very few have positive experiences with hybrid teaching, and this is confirmed in a new survey among teachers. Many believe that learning outcomes and well-being are poorer when the teacher is in “two rooms” at the same time.

The result is often Student Passion: It’s hard to energize students when it comes to meeting students digitally and physically. In addition, technical problems give a lot of frustration and few learning benefits.

my family The impression from research in this area is that it largely confirms the impression that hybrid teaching is demanding. this is Confirmed by the educational environments of the university. Perhaps some technical issues can be addressed by building hybrid rooms.

To enter Additional teaching resources can provide opportunities to have one teacher follow the students present, and follow those who appear on screen. However, it is very expensive. If we want to double the teaching resources, there are many other exciting opportunities we can use the money for, such as increasing supervision, increasing preparation time, or teaching in smaller groups.

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from today Experience and Research My initial conclusion is that we who are responsible for higher education should refrain from investing time and resources in hybrid teaching.

In the position With so many changes, we have to be careful about sticking to the master. This means, among other things, that we do not currently want to link large resources to converting all rooms into co-ed rooms, nor set a central goal regarding how much teaching quota should be digital.

the most important It is to make current and future choices about the form of teaching based on the right premises. That individuals desire a digital display, and that another change that is difficult to address, is completely understandable. In situations where little physical education has severely affected student well-being and learning outcomes, there is still ample reason to demand that all subjects offer a digital alternative.

in some areas Digital teaching offers new opportunities. This applies, among other things, to many continuing and further education students linked to their place of origin through work and family commitments. This also applies to a number of highly specialized subjects, such as PhD courses, which can reach a larger audience digitally.

The most important thing However, consideration in choosing the form of teaching should be which form of teaching gives the best educational outcome in that particular subject. The question is not whether or not we should digitize, but how digitization can be one of several possible tools for achieving quality learning.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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