"Addressing COVID-19 Challenges" by Anthony Hetrick (2020) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The question to answer: How can universities adapt to the changing world quickly?
Elearning methodologies used for distance and blended learning are well established in K-12 schools and higher education institutions. These two groups are diverse and require different solutions---the recommendations in this document focus on incorporating educational technology (edtech) in a higher education context.
Terminology in the field of educational technology changes over time and has no agreed-upon definition. We need to define these terms in our context to avoid confusion. These definitions capture the essence of the terms.
"The confluence of educational psychology and instructional design, of educational technology and distance education, and of recent technological developments related to the Internet" (Friesen, 2009, p. 6).
Educational Technology (concept)
The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using andmanaging appropriate technological processes and resources (Januszewski & Molenda, 2013, p. 1).
Educational Technology (practice)
Combines digital technology with educational theory and practice to facilitate learning and improve performance (Kennedy, 2018).
"Institution-based, formal education where the learning group is separated, and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors" (Simonson & Seepersaud, 2018, p. 1).
"The thoughtful integration of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences" (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004, p. 96)
"Learning experiences in synchronous or asynchronous environments using different devices (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, etc.) with internet access. In these environments, students can be anywhere (independent) to learn and interact with instructors and other students" (Singh & Thurman, 2019).
These six limitations cover some of the critical issues that relate to distance education. There are many more!
There is not a one size fits all solution for using technology to solve the distance learning problem. Furthermore, an identified solution likely contains its own set of challenges. However, educational technology can address (or deal with) some of the current issues related to COVID-19.
This chart shows the various types of elearning, which has implications for course design. Selecting the correct online or blended course design depends on the learner outcomes and course objectives.
Online learning design options (moderating variables)
Role of Online Assessments
Instructor Role Online
Student Role Online
Online Communication Synchrony
Source of Feedback
(Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, & Bond, 2020)
The most substantial change to solving the learner problems is moving some courses to asynchronous online education because students can complete the activities anytime during the week. However, doing so increases the risk to students who are not self-motivated and could require greater instructor involvement to monitor and help lagging students. Additionally, there are limited support options to help some students adequately.
Preparing learners to study online should happen before they enroll in their first online or blended learning course. This training on how to be a successful online learner could be a part of the student orientation.
Solving the problems at the institutional level requires time and investment in faculty development. In the short term, creating videos of some lectures, and putting them online will address the problem that not all students can attend classes at the same time.
Faculty training and educational technology development are required to address the problem over the long term.
Friesen, N. (2009). Re-thinking e-learning research: Foundations, methods, and practices (Vol. 333). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95--105.
Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review, 27. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning
Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (Eds.). (2013). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. Routledge.
Kennedy, S. (2018). Educational Technology and Curriculum. Scientific e-Resources.
Simonson, M., & Seepersaud, D. J. (2018). Distance education: Definition and glossary of terms. Iap.
Singh, V., & Thurman, A. (2019). How Many Ways Can We Define Online Learning? A Systematic Literature Review of Definitions of Online Learning (1988-2018). American Journal of Distance Education, 33(4), 289-306.