by Francine Oliver
As vaccine rollouts continue and lockdown measures become laxer, the education sector has an opportunity to shift back to traditional teaching methods. In fact, The Washington Post reports that almost half of the public schools in the country are now open for full-time, physical classes. This seems like a return to the pre-pandemic normal, but this couldn't be further from the case.
Student-centered teaching methods had to undergo multiple changes due to the rapid shift to remote learning. Thus, when the education sector returns to the face-to-face setting, teachers should incorporate new, relevant strategies gathered from the period of online schooling. Some of these strategies are as follows:
It's fitting to start with a discussion on whether remote learning is here to stay.
Following the closure of schools, educational institutions of all levels shifted to remote learning programs. This provided a learning environment in the virtual sphere, allowing students in primary, secondary, and tertiary levels to continue their studies from home.
Such remote learning options also apply to teacher education. Educators now have more access to a myriad of virtual courses and classes, including online doctor of education programs, an advanced degree that shapes teachers to lead in the university setting. These programs provide a hands-on approach to future leaders, emphasizing collaboration and faculty support. Essentially, teaching teachers for the future.
These online education options became a staple in the time of the pandemic. However, now that lockdown restrictions are easing up, the demand for remote learning solutions continues to increase. This is because many students and families prefer virtual schooling.
Though it's far from the perfect solution, online schooling serves as a more accessible alternative for students in the post-pandemic world. Thus, teachers and institutions should consider permanently implementing the remote learning option in their educational model. Additionally, they should strive to optimize their virtual methods of instruction.
Gamification is another method that grew more popular among remote learning arrangements. Gamification is the practice of incorporating game-like elements into teaching methods. Some examples include implementing a scoring system for completing learning objectives, awarding students with badges or stickers for excelling, and holding friendly competitions based on class materials.
A review of gamification practices in remote learning revealed an increase in student motivation. Competitive game elements also heightened their engagement. Overall, the researchers concluded that gamification can be combined with traditional teaching methods to improve the students' learning experiences.
Additionally, gamification is an excellent avenue to practice student-centered teaching. Educators can customize the game-like elements of their curriculum to cater to their student's needs. These personalized activities then further improve student engagement and motivation.
Given this, gamification should be cemented as a staple in both traditional and online learning arrangements. Educational institutions should also start training their teaching faculty on the best gamification practices to ensure quality education for their students.
Remote learning arrangements, though convenient, also make learners susceptible to screen fatigue. Students are met with waves of notifications, making it more difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. To alleviate this strain, more educators are implementing microlearning in their teaching methods.
Microlearning is an approach to education where teachers introduce concepts and information in small batches. According to a study on utilizing microlearning content in online classes, merging microlearning solutions with traditional teaching methods is appealing to students. The easy-to-consume lessons make for a less taxing learning experience. Microlearning practices, then, can be used to improve student engagement and care for their mental wellbeing.
And like the last two items, microlearning is also student-centered. Methods are highly customizable, depending on the students' needs and learning styles. Thus, teachers can adapt their audiovisual materials to cater to their class.
Given the benefits, microlearning should also be a staple in the future of learning. Educators should consider incorporating it into their institution's general curriculum to maximize student learning.
The future of education after COVID-19 is still somewhat blurry. But educators equipped with these new learning strategies are central to the post-pandemic transition. Educators, after all, are accustomed to change. And to improve the education system, they must always strive to change for the good of their students.
What other new strategies do you think will crop up in post-pandemic education? Please share your views in the comments section below.
Meet the Author
Francine Oliver is currently pursuing a degree in educational psychology. She enjoys learning about the latest edtech trends and connecting these to her psychology classes. When she isn't reading or studying, she's baking cupcakes for her family.