Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Higher Education in the Post-pandemic World

'This changes everything?'! Australia and the post-pandemic world, 22 October 2020
An online symposium 'This changes everything?'! Australia and the post-pandemic world is being hosted by the Australian Studies Institute at the Australian National University, 22 October 2020. I have offered to speak on "Higher Education in the Post-pandemic World" and will develop my presentation here, in a series of blog posts.

The organizers first asked for an abstract (below) and then a 5 to 8 minute video. The videos will be made available two weeks before the symposium. On the day, there are one hour sessions scheduled with five "papers" each, so about ten minutes per paper. Each presenter has been asked to include two or three questions, or statements, to promote discussion. This is an interesting attempt to translate the symposium format to the online world.

In a traditional academic symposium, the presenter reads their entire paper word by word. With a literate writer, who is also an engaging speaker, on an interesting topic, this can be spellbinding, but often it is very tedious. It will be interesting to see if the online format, with pre-recorded videos and the questions is successful in creating a useful discussion.

I am not sure what I can fit in a 5 to 8 minute video. So to start I produced a video with just the abstract, using Vidnami, synthetic speech and Creative Commons Licensed images. This turned out to be just over one minute, so there is room for more content.

Higher Education in the Post-pandemic World

Mr Tom Worthington, Honorary Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science, ANU


Like many educators, my world changed suddenly in early 2020. I was called to an emergency meeting of the staff of the Australian National University College of Engineering and Computer Science. We were told that due to COVID-19 many of our international students would be unable to get to campus: could we teach them online? There was a moment of shocked silence, then a roar of questions: “How many? How long for? Will they have Internet access? What about assessment?” It happened for my Masters of Education I looked at how to provide online education to international students at a research intensive university. Also I had worked in emergency planning at the Australian Department of Defence, so had some relevant experience. But it has been a challenging year. What are the lessons learned for educating professionals online? How will this change higher education for domestic and international students into the future?

  1. Teaching & Assessing Student Group Projects Online Due to COVID-19

  2. Lessons Learned for Educating Professionals Online

  3. Changes to Higher Education

Some relevant past presentations papers and books:

  1. Worthington, T. (2020). The Higher Education Whisperer on COV-19 (Blog). URL
  2. Worthington, T. (2020, April). Responding to the Coronavirus
    Emergency with e-Learning
    , Athabasca University. Video
    URL Text URL https://blog.
  3. Worthington, T. (2020, June). Blend and Flip for Teaching
    Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer
    Science Students
    . Paper accepted for the IEEE International
    Conference on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for
    Engineering (TALE), 10-13 December 2019, Yogyakarta,
    Indonesia. URL
  4. Worthington, T. (2018, December). Blended Learning for the
    . In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Teaching,Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE) (pp. 861-865). IEEE. URL
  5. Worthington, T. (2017). Digital Teaching In Higher Education:
    Designing E-learning for International Students of Technology,
    Innovation and the Environment
    (ebook). URL http://www.tomw.
  6. Worthington, T. (2014, August). Chinese and Australian
    students learning to work together online proposal to expand
    the New Colombo Plan to the online environment
    . In 2014 9th
    International Conference on Computer Science & Education
    (pp. 164-168). IEEE. URL: https://openresearch-repository.anu.

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