Recovering from the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on university teaching. Many universities have had to quickly pivot to online or remote learning in order to continue instruction while also trying to protect the health and safety of students and staff. This has led to a variety of challenges, such as ensuring that all students have access to the technology and internet connectivity needed for remote learning, as well as developing new methods of delivering instruction and engaging students in a virtual environment. Additionally, many universities have had to suspend in-person activities, such as laboratory classes and clinical rotations, which has affected the delivery of some programs and the hands-on learning experiences for students.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the number of students in universities. The pandemic has led to a variety of disruptions in the education system, including closures of schools and universities, changes to teaching methods, and economic challenges for families.

In some cases, the number of students attending universities has decreased due to the pandemic. Many universities have reported a decline in enrollment, as prospective students and their families have faced financial difficulties and uncertainty during the pandemic. Additionally, some students may have chosen to delay their enrollment in college or university due to the pandemic.

On the other hand, some universities have seen an increase in enrollment as the pandemic has made online learning more prevalent, leading to more flexibility in terms of location and time. Also, some students have chosen to attend universities closer to home to be able to be with their families during the pandemic.

How can we teach and learn more efficiently?

Why can’t we teach more efficiently although the technology makes teaching much faster?

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Research suggests that students learn better by having information presented through multiple modalities, especially through visual means (Mayer, 2003), and boards are perhaps the simplest visual teaching tool. In recent years, instructors have replaced boards in favor of PowerPoint presentations and interactive whiteboards (IWB). However, there does not seem to be a significant difference in learning outcomes when the same information is presented in PowerPoint rather than handwritten on boards (Shallcross, 2007). Additionally, to date, IWBs seem to present more complications for classroom integration than enhanced learning outcomes, and their potential for active learning is still under study (Karsenti 2016).

Instead, one study found that when instructors presented content on PowerPoint and also elaborated on the content via the chalkboard, students were more active and spent more time asking questions than when instructors only used one of the tools (Meo, 2013). This study underscores a core function for boards of any kind: they can be easily utilized to encourage active learning in the classroom. Instructors can use boards to engage students individually and via groups with problem-solving and brainstorming activities.