Today marks the start of a two-week break for my team and me after nine months of intense work. We set out at the beginning of the year with an ambitions five-year plan to weave digital and in-person learning seamlessly across all courses at the university where we work.
In March, we pivoted to help move all teaching and assessment online. In June, we started a programme to offer one-on-one support for all modules in the university to move to a blended learning model within the government social distancing guidelines. We carried out over a thousand design workshops, countless emails and helpdesk tickets, and wrote or recorded hundreds of guides, webpages, and communications.
Term one is now over, and higher education is changed forever. Our initial plan is more or less complete, and we start to look at what is next. Will we ever see regular mass lectures again? Will students expect a HyFlex model where they chose online or in-person on a session by session basis? Or are we at a tipping point where new models of learning are about to be launched with methods we have not yet thought about?
As I sit here next to my Christmas tree, beer in hand, and Michael Buble singing ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,’ I am thinking about the great people I work with and the things that they have achieved this year, and I can only smile. These questions are for tomorrow or for January. The next two weeks are about family, food, and that half-marathon time trial on Sunday that is really going to hurt.