Universities across the globe are seeing a huge drop in number of students enrolling for campus education. They are also facing a higher drop-out ratio due to student inability to pay fees in wake of COVID- 19. It is being predicted that many universities and higher-ed institutes may have a sustenance challenge in the coming months if they do not act fast. Mid-tier and small universities, which always had a campus curriculum, are suddenly under a pressure to completely go online.
Going online does not only pertain to delivering classes online using zoom or WebEx; but instead, a complete digital transformation of academic operations and delivery. It affects everyone in the university. And such a transformation can take years to be successful. But do universities have that amount of time in hand? The obvious answer is NO. Then how can a university get this done right rapidly?
Here are few short-term solutions that a university can consider while going online:
1) Use Google Meet or Zoom to take online classes.
2) Use default Moodle with minimum customization to host all your online class details. It does not take more than a couple of weeks to get this up and running.
3) Add some engagement in your online sessions through interactive games, quizzes, exercises, and more.
4) Use a simple nudge system like short emails with key points, concepts, and definitions to reinforce learning content
5) Offer a few free online sessions to attract new registrations to your classes
6) Try and create some marketing collateral such as student success testimonials, parent experiences, and more to promote on social media and university website. Marketing it right would help you get more online registrations to classes and eventually sustain the university.
To get this all streamlined and implemented rapidly, perhaps the most appropriate thing would be to interact with a consulting company which has been into the online learning industry for a considerable period of time and has enough experience in the following fields:
– Technology selection
– Systems to go online
– Tools for teachers, students, administrative, and support functions
– Content development expertise to convert Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to online-friendly sessions
– Rapid yet effective innovative solutions to reduce dropout
– Student engagement solutions for pre- and post-class
Once your short-term system is set, then you can start planning the long term. Do ensure you consider all aspects stated above.
What are some interesting solutions you have used in your university which can be shared with other fellow educators? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.