This week has been a short week with the long weekend, and it was a week that saw Ontario easing some of its restrictions again. This has schools thinking more and more about what it might look like to return to campus and what it means for planning: logistics & regulations, wellbeing of faculty and students, pedagogy.
Here are resources that have really helped me begin to frame my thinking:
1) EdCan: Moving Forward in the Covid-19 Era
This article puts our current ‘normal’ up against what might be coming. It asks us to think ahead of our ‘right now’ and see the trends for what they are.
Emergency response approaches to teaching and schooling should not become the new status quo. Rather, in collaboration with the education profession and support staff, approaches to education during the COVID-19 era should be evaluated. Which approaches are worth continuing and developing and which are not? Technology, for instance, can be a useful tool and resource for teachers to use as part of their repertoire of strategies, but it is not a replacement for in-person classroom interactions over the longer term.4 If phased re-openings and/or rotating students’ physical attendance is used, what forms of distance learning, blended learning, and learning resource strategies for home and school will be required and with what additional resource investments?
These are great questions for us to consider as we lead schools, faculty, students and families into the return-to-learn phase.
2) Inside Higher Ed: 15 Fall Scenarios You Should Know
What I loved about this article was the micro-definitions of each of the 15 approaches. I could see how some overlap, how some build on the others, and how some might serve as a continuum as schools adjust and pivot their approaches according to regulatory changes.
I particularly enjoyed the HyFlex model:
The HyFlex model is perhaps the most flexible and for many will be the most attractive. It is also possibly one of the more difficult approaches for faculty. In this model, courses would be taught both face-to-face and online by the same instructor at the same time. Students could choose to return to campus or stay home. Those on campus could be assigned certain class slots when face-to-face is an option, allowing the schools greater control of social distancing in the classroom. This model tends to privilege synchronous learning, and to do it well often requires real-time in-class help (a TA or course assistant to manage the online students), an intentionally designed classroom and a great deal of patience from both the students and faculty.
These 15 responses are great examples to hold up to what your school is capable of, what the risk-appetite is, and what faculty and students can manage. Then design your own approaches, a blend of these.
3) Korn Ferry: It’s Okay to Celebrate
Indeed it is. It’s also a strategy. This article talks about what we, in the CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator, have address “Celebrating Short Term Wins”. This is a great add to the culture of an organization, and it serves a purpose. For example, in this article, there are 5 purposes and here is the one that resonated with me:
It’s not numbers, it’s the people. What gets measured, doesn’t just get managed, as the well-known saying goes. It also gets celebrated! Without measuring, you’re only practicing—as if it doesn’t matter how much progress is made. Once goals are set, leaders need to make sure they’re monitored in ways that are relevant and contribute directly to achieving them. It takes more than one metric to measure progress—a dashboard of data that reveals a more complete picture. But it’s not just about data. Even more important are the people. Listen for the stories of what went into those incremental achievements. The team that went the extra mile. The colleagues who spontaneously worked together to solve a problem. Share the data and the story behind the story. Progress inspires!
So, what does it look like to celebrate at your school? Is there a culture of appreciate and gratitude? If not, what a great time to start. If there is, in what ways can you ensure that it continues and is strengthened to continue to sustain enrolment behind your mission and build the culture you want.