Summary of the discussion from E&PDE21 workshop on: Transition to Online: What Have We Learnt?

Following the E&PDE21 workshop on: Transition to Online: What Have We Learnt?, the challenges and examples of good practices in online education were shared and captured. 

Challenges identified: 

  • Students reluctant to turn cameras on
  • Digital Break out rooms are difficult to manage – You don’t get a good sense of student discussions – You might feel you are interrupting
  • Early prototyping was greatly reduced
  • Introverted students feel alienated
  • Opportunistic interactions happen less
  • First year students don’t build up a bond with each other and the staff. 
  • Group think become prevalent
  • Sharing design work becomes difficult
  • Difficult to study at home – shared accommodation
  • Lack of spontaneity because of overthinking
  • The computer screen feels 2D and there is a lack of 3D thinking
  • Difficult to get a sense of student wellbeing
  • Team building is difficult 
  • 1-2-1 discussions with students are heavily time constrained. 
  • Hard to measure engagement
  • Content needs rethought for online
  • Online behavior can be less formal and more a kin to social media
  • Screen fatigue
  • The “human centered” element can get lost as part of the design process

Key challenges

  • Opportunistic interactions happen less
  • The computer screen feels 2D and there is a lack of 3D thinking
  • Difficult to study at home – shared accommodation

Solutions to key challenges:

  • “Fika Room” where students can drop-in
  • Using novel technology such as Gathertown/slack/discord for a virtual university.
  • Plan opportunities for spontaneity
  • Using alternative materials to encourage early prototypes e.g. Play-Doh
  • Change thinking of model making as a proof of concept and not an end goal
  • Dedicating time to activates that students skip in a virtual environment
  • Quick Hackathon type activates using £1 store materials
  • Using AR/VR (still very expensive)
  • Adapt public places to support teaching – Physical spaces for online learning. 
  • More time at home = Productivity and more screen time. Designing value adding activates away from the screen. 
  • Designing different types of activates. Eyes closed learning? 
  • Learning on mobile
  • Using Social media to create a sense of community
  • Using meditation to alleviate stress
  • Using novel technologies for peer-to-peer feedback
  • Send students on a “walkabout activity” to observe and learn 

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