Thematic Track 2: Bridging the Gaps: Ethical Foundations of Online Teaching and Learning Pedagogies
The current pandemic situation has revealed significant gaps in higher education. Access to education and educational resources is unevenly distributed, as are the levels of preparedness of teachers and learners for the rapid transition from onsite to online learning the pandemic crises has called for. Propitious technological literacy and infrastructures are, however, only one facet of the challenge before us. Educators and learners alike are articulating questions on how learning can be facilitated to respond to the new global situation we are experiencing.
This thematic track is designed to offer a space for deepening these questions and to identify viable avenues for solutions. How can we close the digital gap? What kind of pedagogical theories help us to navigate between onsite and online learning environments? And which ethical foundations do institutions need to build and to take seriously when proposing online education?
Different voices have begun to articulate enriching perspectives on these questions that we propose to deepen during this pre-conference conversation. One of these is to enhance online teaching and learning through the professional development of all who teach and support the teaching activities and through boosting their digital competences. Another perspective emphasises identifying novel learning designs, tools and innovative approaches for online learning environments, such as the challenge of a-synchronic course delivery, digital skills and the integration of blended learning modules.
Ethics in this process of digitalization in higher education, particularly as institutions start to position themselves anew in the wake of the pandemic, will play a preponderant role in accompanying the transformation process – from onsite to online learning and in the development of blended forms. By constantly drawing attention to values such as inclusivity, equity, sharing, integrity and transparency throughout the learning experience we can go a long way to ensuring quality education and optimal learning and teaching outcomes.