Paul Greatix (@registrarism) wrote a brutal and refreshingly honest piece on Wonkhe asking if universities had done the right things under covid19. https://wonkhe.com/blogs/doing-the-right-things-universities-under-covid/
In his piece, he talks about the challenges facing universities in the absence Government and sector regulators providing meaningful advice and the exhaustion of staff having to navigate the constantly changing choppy waters.
We have seen the coverage of distressed new students having to isolate and feeling that the experience they are receiving is quite different to the one promised. Their orientation and induction to study processes have been greatly disrupted which is likely to impact on withdrawal rates. Our returning students will have gaps in their learning experience no matter how hard course and module leaders have tried to bridge them. And our final year student, who will have experienced disruption of most of their course by the time they complete their studies, face a bleak workplace on completion.
In his final sentence Paul states that it is time to ‘stick together as one university community (not a two tier one), work with our local communities too, stay optimistic, look after our students and look positively to the future’. However, in light of recent government guidelines, we need to review arrangements. Universities we are told will remain open, but in my view only online teaching by exception should happen.
So, with January fast approaching and Covid19 progressively worsening, this LTHE chat invites the community to consider what pedagogic lessons have been learnt in the past 7 months, and how we can move forward in supporting students’ learning and post study success as well as the wellbeing of our academic community.
Michelle Morgan @it_se is a higher education consultant. Previously she was associate professor and associate dean of the student experience at Bournemouth University.
Michelle is extensively published in the area of supporting student diversity and improving the student learning experience at undergraduate and postgraduate taught level in, through and out of the student study journey. Her two edited books that revolve around her Student Experience Transitions Model (SET) are designed to help academic and professional service colleagues support students. She has developed a free portal for staff which provides a range of information and links for anyone interested in improving the student experience in higher education www.improvingthestudentexperience.com
During her varied career, Michelle has been a Faculty Manager, Researcher and Academic. She describes herself as a ‘Third Space Professional’ student experience practitioner who develops initiatives based on pragmatic and practical research. Michelle has over 50 publications and has presented over 100 national and international conference papers (including 44 keynotes and 30 invited papers). She co-wrote and co-presented a 5 part Radio series for BBC China in 2011 on the student learning experience.
Michelle was creator and PI/Project Lead of an innovative £2.7 million 11 university collaborative HEFCE grant looking atthe study expectations and attitudes of postgraduate taught (PGT) students.The project report received praise from across the sector including UKCGE, OFFA, the HEA and the Engineering Professor’s Council. www.postgradexperience.org
Michelle is a Principal Fellow of the HEA, Fellow of the AUA and a Council member of UKCGE. She is a Student Minds Mental Health Assessor and for a second year, she is a judge on The Guardian University awards panel.