COVID-19 forced post-secondary institutions to quickly transition to online. Almost a year since the pandemic began, online learning continues to be the “new normal”. Having worked closely various institutions on their post COVID-19 strategy to bring students back to campus, below are our thoughts on the future of post-secondary.
Safety Is The Primary Concern
Safety is the top priority for post-secondary institutions’ leaders as they plan to bring students to campus for in-person delivery. Students and staff will not feel as comfortable as they did before in a large group setting as physical distancing measures continue to linger. Tactics used to promote physical distancing, such as two-way tape, directional traffic, and foot markers, will likely become long lasting. In addition, there is an emerging need for touchless interaction, for example, automatic door openers, card access, motion dispensing units, etc. These technologies avoid individuals touching objects physically and prevent contamination.
It is also highly likely that we may begin to see some schools use distance learning as a unique aspect of the curriculum going forward. While being able to incorporate the pandemic restrictions in an innovative way, it may also be functional in reducing the number of individuals in classrooms.
Quiet, Individual Studying Space
Ongoing research is being conducted to find out what is working in remote campuses, and what is not. Success in studying from home can depend on whether or not a student has access to a quiet space. Unfortunately, most students live in small apartments, or share their space with others and may find most of their surroundings to be distracting or ineffective.
What online classrooms a.k.a ZOOM, lack compared to in-person classrooms is the opportunity for students to change their learning environment and have a versatile collaborative experience. As a result, we are likely to see the adoption of smaller group settings, more virtual classrooms and individual study areas going forward. In 2021, we predict that as restrictions ease, more students will come to campus to use individual studying areas, while integrating virtual lessons. Students will get the benefit of a well-designed, structured learning environment, with the ability to practice physical distancing.
Hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) learning allows students to learn from an instructor’s pre-recorded class at their own pace on their own time. Spaces will now need to be addressed to accommodate the rise of this new way of learning. Post-secondary educators will take this opportunity to rethink how collaborative classrooms should be redesigned to align with this trend. This HyFlex model has given us the ability to transform and maximize previously underutilized space and encourage students to take more ownership in their learning. Generally, students are taught at an early age to take responsibility for their learning during their K-12 years. Hy-flex learning allows new undergraduates to customize their learning style and pace which helps ease the transition of entering the post-secondary realm
We ensure that the furniture we provide is dynamic and flexible. We have made changes to accommodate new restrictions and provide exceptional service to all our furnished campuses. For a consultation with our campus specialist on how we can future proof your post-secondary spaces, get in touch with us at 1.888.230.2280 or [email protected].