Universities have traditionally designed courses for in-person face to face teaching. This process is based on years of experience in delivering programmes of study to cohorts of students.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns required a rapid emergency response and there was a swift transition from in-person delivery to remote delivery.
Most of the time this remote delivery took the form of that traditional delivery format been converted (or translated) into a remote delivery format. It was not converted to reflect the opportunities that online pedagogy can bring to the table.
This was not unexpected, academic staff had to quickly respond, they didn’t have the time or the resources to design, develop and delivery excellent online teaching and learning. Often they would not have the requisite and necessary digital capabilities as well. The end result was a translation of teaching and learning rather than transformation.
Moving forward, there is a need to reflect on the skills and capabilities required to deliver on the possibilities of digital teaching and learning.
Digital skills are only part of the challenge. Jisc’s work on digital capability has demonstrated again the need for a more holistic approach to the use of digital tools and services.
As well as the technical skills required for the various tools that are available, other skills are also required. These are skills around curriculum design, pedagogy, creativity, production, and innovation. The pandemic demonstrated that the technical skills were relatively easy to acquire, however for the other skills, training, development and application are more complex and challenging.
Success in digital teaching and learning is much about understanding about what is required for transformation to take advantage of the affordances and opportunities that digital can offer and not about taking what works in-person and making digital copies of existing practices.