For both students and teachers, the introduction to remote learning has been a hurried and deficient system. On one hand, teachers are often untrained users having to also cope with the pressures of their own family responsibility, while trying to take their classes from home. To the student similarly unfamiliar with the new service, the added concern of internet coverage, the correct device and having suffice memory. Some students are already burdened by the fear and anxiety caused from having to live through the pandemic.
However, it seems now, expert Ray Baker, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania says moving forward “our new normal might not be that everything’s online.” He suggests perhaps “a third.”
Marium Raza believes that the “whole process should be democratized” as students become included in decisions about their online learning experience. She would also prefer that schools have a bit more trust in students and seek student consent to the use of software.
Firstly, do our views need to change on our approach, not just on cheating? Secondly, what does it really means to test students’ knowledge? As I’ve mentioned, some professors are already looking at other ways to measure learning. Thirdly, do the assessments online need to be traditional exams?
Prior to the pandemic, some professors were already disagreeing with the use of online proctoring, stating that it doesn’t actually work.
Douglas Harrison, a vice president and dean at the University of Maryland’s global campus argues that teachers need to make “assignments more meaningful” in order to reduce the likelihood of cheating.
This could be achieved through
- case studies
- scenario-based learning
- adaptive learning, which can use algorithms to adapt lessons to individual students
- computer-based learning tools, such as Assistments, which allows students to receive automatic feedback on their answers and gives teachers analytics about what kinds of mistakes students are making.
To sum up, our current situation is a litmus test to see what works for online education and what doesn’t. Certainly, there are improvements to be made for a better overall learning experience online for student and teacher alike.
Universities are depending on Blackboard and Canvas, two existing learning management platforms to post assignments, online discussions, and resources. Teachers are using video conferencing to take their classes and lectures. However, some teachers and students just don’t have the right device or internet connection to make online courses work.