PTF Higher Education | Role of Video conferencing

The PTF report states

Online collaborative working environment with video conferencing facility is crucial for the blended/online interaction among students and teachers.

Of course, the dominant strategy of “adapting” to virtual teaching by schools and universities, globally, was to use video conferencing to replicate what happened face-to-face in the classroom.

This is a bit tragic, because even before the pandemic, the virtues of a flipped classroom was known. Why should students sit in a lecture to “receive” a lecture, when they could watch a recording in advance (including skimming over the areas they already knew, or spend more time on tougher areas) and the shared time with the expert could have been used for Q&A / discussion. (This is elaborated in our “forecast” for University 4.0 on Medium)

Even with the pandemic, this is the approach that we should be taking - especially because the content created this way can be reused (not only within the university for future enrolments, but even across universities), and it can be downloaded (using off-peak data).

And we can be creative about how Q&A/discussion happens - there is certainly a benefit in live Q&A time, but that’s less useful with a large group of students because it only allows one conversation at a time - so if it happens at all it should be in small groups. This needs to be complemented by slower conversations (e.g. on Moodle that universities already use) that allows for people to think and respond in detail. The faculty member also contributes to this, but the richness of the discourse should be based on the discourse between the students than being only to/from the faculty member.