In full agreement w/all of this. From what I can tell, the US conversation is very slowly but now noticeably moving toward some real talk about fall 2020. The fact that the conversation hasn’t really started in the UK is bad news, bc UKHE needs far more time to do this right. https://twitter.com/hps_vanessa/status/1250310769855492096
First, UKHE has no real summer to speak of, and what little there is is this year eaten into further bc of pandemic-related extensions.
This summer is critical time to get ready to do online teaching in sniffing distance of “properly,” and we need 3 months not 3 weeks.
Second, unlike the US, the parameters of the modules for next year are already locked in, down to assessment and in some cases content/lectures. Much of this will need changing, otherwise we can forget being in proximity to good online teaching.
Third, this is an infrastructure problem. Broadband in this country is woeful, both in quality and access. At my previous institution, you couldn’t do so much as upload a big PDF from home. Platforms have to be purchased or tweaked for this new use. Libraries have to adjust.
Fourth, while many US universities have to figure out how they’re handling the residential campus/dorm life situation, UKHE has to keep in mind the fact that running F2F may turn universities into local/national/international superclusters.
UKHE relies on people commuting on public transit across town, cross-country, and across international borders. I imagine a lot of people are going to need to stay home.
Fifth, if you want to convince students that they should start/come back, the quality of the online teaching has to be demonstrably higher—prior to enrollment with some samples at least—than the emergency teaching we’re doing now.
There’s also the MAJOR and likely cataclysmic workload implications. To be blunt, workloads at many UK institutions are already health-threatening. Adding on online teaching... I shudder to think. Workloads will need to be reconfigured. https://twitter.com/hps_vanessa/status/1250314230181425152?s=21 https://twitter.com/hps_vanessa/status/1250314230181425152