The Transition from Covid-19 Pandemic Induced Online Learning to the Future Physical Campus: Is the Higher Education Ready?
Authors: Paulina Kuforiji, John Kuforiji
Abstract: This study explores the direct impacts of the current Covid-19 pandemic-induced online learning and teaching at the higher education level. It indicates that its future physical campus would be a hybrid or blended instruction setting when Covid-19 is over. Due to Covid-19 lockdown and social distance regulations, face-to-face classroom instruction was deemed unsafe for the academic community. Hence, online education became the cornerstone of academia’s ability to deliver its services to the students. Indirectly, Covid-19 forced academia to adopt online learning and teaching platforms to deliver and meet the students’ instructional needs. Developing more efficient online learning and teaching software and devices helped enhance and improve student learning outcomes during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Thus, academia needs to capitalize on these achievements. However, this development would challenge the monopoly powers of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom setting. This study examines the evidence of the effectiveness and shortcomings of online learning and teaching. It further examines and provides strategies to resolve the digital learning and teaching challenges. This eradication would make the hybrid or blended learning and teaching setting effectively compete with the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom setting in the future physical campus of higher education. This study’s research questions are. What lessons have we learned from the current online education and learning model? Is the higher education level thinking and ready to adopt a new classroom setting? Would the hybrid or blended instruction promote better students learning outcomes and maximize their learning? Would the new learning mode promote better internationalization standards for higher education? Would the new learning mode be cost-efficient? The study’s findings on the above research questions demonstrate the importance, threats, and indirect effects of hybrid or blended learning instruction. The indirect effects are complementary to the future physical campus. The study will contribute to the literature on the next stage of learning and teaching in academia. The study would quicken the higher education institutions' planning and adaptation to a new learning instruction setting. The developers of complementary software and technology devices could start planning how they would create new pedagogical tools and benefit from the future campus. The study will reinforce the view that online learning and teaching instruction has come to stay with academia. The study shows how hybrid or blended learning instruction will help academia overcome some of the shortcomings of online learning and teaching education. The study will harmonize with previous studies by proving that hybrid or blended learning instruction is the next frontier of the students' learning instruction. The study could strengthen the growing awareness among faculty, scholars, researchers, and formal academic institutions on the subject matter.
Keywords: Digital Competence, Pandemic Induced Online Learning, and Teaching, Future Physical Campus, Hybrid or Blended Learning
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