THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: INTEGRATED ONLINE AND IN-PERSON LEARNING

Elizabeth Johnson

Abstract


In March 2020, Australian universities were tipped into online-only teaching in the space of a couple of weeks. To maintain student learning and progress, most universities quickly moved to ‘emergency remote teaching’ (Hodges et al., 2020) as an interim step. Disciplines that rely on experiential learning were faced with stark choices – abandon practical experiences, change them radically or delay them until later in the year. However, the rapid shift has also prompted challenge of our assumptions about the use and value of face-to-face classes. What is the real importance of asking staff and students to work together in the same physical space at the same time?

Scientific practice is not bounded by synchronous, co-located work. Scientists expect to, and do, work with colleagues around the world. Data, tools and analysis are shared globally. Science uses whatever tools and collaborations best address the problem. This presentation will argue that teaching science should use the same principle to be authentic, effective, accessible and engaging. It will explore the affordances of teaching science online and face-to-face and the intersections between online and face-to-face delivery.

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