Online teaching has long been an option for higher education faculty, but most have rejected online education and have chosen the traditional mode of teaching face-to-face in physical classrooms.

As colleges and universities grapple with the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak will keep campuses closed through summer and into fall semesters, educators may no longer have that choice. Emergency remote teaching in response to a campus closure may be tolerable to finish out a semester, but students who do return in the fall will expect a higher-quality learning experience than online files and video conferences.

Related content: Adapting to online learning in a pinch

This leaves administrators and faculty with a challenge: Do we bet on another semester of “good enough” remote teaching? Or do we scramble to develop online versions of all scheduled courses to meet established standards of course design?

Looking beyond fall 2020, how will institutions adapt to be more resilient in the face of future closures? Some have suggested that the current crisis may cause a permanent change in higher education, motivating greater investment in and attention to high-quality online offerings.

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About the Author:

As VP of Higher Education Strategy for Canvas by Instructure, Jared Stein and team uncover new ways that technology can improve teaching and learning — often in collaboration with colleges and universities. Jared works to help teachers design effective blended and online learning so that all students can have great experiences in education. He believes in applying research to design, and encourages real-world practice, openness, and simplicity. Jared has also helped institutions plan for education challenges through grassroots, faculty-driven initiatives (such as open education projects), and top-level leadership plans (such as the growth of online and hybrid offerings). Jared is co-author of Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-Based Guide.


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