How remote learning changes power and privilege in higher education

[The Library of Trinity College Dublin. Photo by PhotoFra.]

Decolonize my course, Decolonize My Curriculum, Decolonize My Classroom – For some time, the term “decolonization” has been in discussion on campus, as students and some professors demand inclusion and diversity in education. However, it appears that the epidemic has initiated a process of natural disintegration by directly challenging the exclusionary nature of the world university.

After three semesters of remote instruction, and many of us preparing to return to personal teaching, I can’t think of a Buddhist saying: The Buddha sat under a tree but they kept him in a temple. Considering the spacious campus with their impressive but secluded buildings, I think how the ease of mixed learning has challenged the right to these spaces, which are often monolithic places, class gatekeepers and privileges.

This is an important moment in making higher education institutions more inclusive through technology that enhances accessibility and promotes innovative pedagogy. Many prestigious universities that previously ignored the idea of ​​digital education have kept their content online, changing the whole dynamics of inclusion. No longer is travel or student visa status a hindrance, English as a second language is a challenge, or “right” appearance, class or race participation is not a barrier. The only student of color, a single parent, a disabled or depressed student no longer has to shrink or stand in class. The hierarchy of what education is and who gets it is destroyed.

It is important to use the lessons of this transition called Paulo Frere. “Banking systemOf education – where professors aim only to accumulate knowledge in students – and instead create holistic pedagogies that acknowledge the diversity of our students and provide a safe space to invite them to speak. Decolonization is not just about removing some dead white men from our curriculum or adding more colored women. It’s about making sure everyone represents the experience. It is about decentralizing the traditional power hierarchy in the classroom, so that the professor is not the only (and often Western) approach to imposing knowledge. It is about ensuring equitable participation among students, so that they will not remain silent and passive recipients whose various life experiences will be denied.

The argument here is not to abandon the physical class, nor do I advocate that remote instruction is the answer to academic equality. The idea is to learn from this experience as we prepare to return to life beyond the pandemic. If you pay attention, here are insights that can guide us to radical educational intervention.

How Virtual Classroom Power Changes and Increases Participation

Remote learning is a great tool for such decentralized strategies, as it eliminates some of the problems Compound. In the zoom class, the teacher is no longer the central authority. Chat offers real-time parallel engagement. The ability to enter and exit equals power.

Before the outbreak, like many of my peers, I was a big believer in the tradition and history of the lecture hall. However, by the time I started lecturing online, and without noticing the flow of real-time comments through chat, I realized how comprehensive it could be. “Any questions?” Instead of talking static with? Finally, I was able to make changes in my lecture according to the changed comments. Parallel participation platforms provided students with space for alternative class discussions, initiated debates, and guided teachers without guiding discourses in traditional classrooms. Closed cameras and private messaging provided an anonymity that took away the confidence to raise your hand to speak. In that sense, remote learning decentralized the power hierarchy of lectures and platforms and increased student participation. And now it’s up to you to develop your learning instruction so that this immersive and interactive experience continues as we re-enter the physical classroom.

Remote learning also improved accessibility for some students. During the peer-to-peer period, several universities recorded lectures, which meant that students could engage with the topic at their own pace and post their questions and comments accordingly. This was especially useful for those who were less able to attend in person or who struggled with the language of learning. In June last year, Bethany Moss, editor of the Cambridge University student newspaper, argued The recorded lectures had to be taken seriously As an alternative to epidemics. Moss drew attention to local competence in institutions such as Cambridge, where students struggling with admission issues were not traditionally heard. Articles like these have forced academic practitioners and university boards to consider incorporating new technologies and techniques, not just as an emergency response. This movement towards ease has initiated a different kind of decolonization, which challenges the power of control, the speed of the professor, even the barriers of language.

How can we ensure that we incorporate these changes into our practice and policy as we move toward face-to-face teaching? The idea is not to propose one medium over another, but to take the best of both in terms of a truly inclusive and diverse student experience.

Yes, zoom fatigue is real, and the lack of body language means the whole burden of learning and learning falls on the eyes. So to reduce the visual overload, in my classes, we tried to read texts with our bodies. Instead of focusing solely on cerebral engagement, I conducted experiments known as tangible learning, where participants try to figure out how they feel physically because of a particular text. Does it make them tense, does it relax their muscles? This led to a kind of nutritional commitment that I had never seen before. Similarly, to keep the students engaged despite the dullness of the screen, we tried to meditate fast by keeping ourselves at the center through the seminars. We tried free-writing and journaling as a way to unofficially check ourselves on the middle points through an online class. Initially it was a way to avoid online disruption, but gradually it became the most instructive way for students to connect with the text. When we experimented with more ways to make learning a nutritious experience, I wondered to myself, why did we have an epidemic to understand that education is about our own knowledge, just like the subject we are studying?

Overcoming doubts, mastering experiments

In addition to teaching, the scholarship has also experienced a power shift in times of crisis. Restrictions on access to field research and archives have led many international organizations and researchers to rely on local scholars, community knowledge, oral history, indigenous knowledge, and self-ethnography, which is a big step towards authenticity and better representation. For some time, the humanities and social sciences have been called upon to make scholars from less representative communities and nations more inclusive, especially in subjects such as anthropology and sociology, where questions are being raised about the dynamics of the surrounding forces.Who will study whom. ” The health crisis has helped break down the resistance to indigenous knowledge-production, which challenges royal practices about quantitative and qualitative research. This is the kind of opening up when we demand decolonization in the field of education, and this is the organic beginning of the process that we should take with us back to the classroom and the research lab and library.

So, why are we still skeptical about hybrid models? Even before the epidemic, many teachers knew that traditional methods of teaching and research would need to be corrected at some point. As a professor of humanities, I was aware of the need to make more use of hybrid pedagogy in the context of the digital age and the small, over-stimulated attention span. The benefits of students joining their digital space outweigh the arguments of dates against the medium; If anything, the different consequences of the epidemic already prompted students to seek refuge there.

And despite the reprehensible attitude that online teaching is not so hard for an instructor, it is actually twice as difficult. Students need a lot of creativity and innovation to participate in a meaningful discussion that appears as an empty box. Online, we’re fighting to get our students’ attention, just one click away from Netflix and Twitter. Co-existing in learning spaces that are constantly threatened by more interesting apps is challenging. And it has become a pandemic to realize that you should be complementary as a teacher instead of competing with these places. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.

At the moment, the modern university stands at a turning point. Instead of going back to how things were, we should focus on the basic educational interventions that take distance learning as an accompaniment to traditional classroom experience. It’s time to dump her and move on. This is the time to give up resistance to new and innovative ways of producing knowledge. It is time to encourage student-led creative experiments, community participation, oral history, indigenous knowledge, and self-pedagogy as a viable tool of educational investment, rather than embracing imperialist and excluded practices in the name of tradition.

Despite the difficulties, epidemics have taught us that there is more than one way to disrupt education. It would be embarrassing to ignore these lessons of decentralization and inclusion, especially when we consider ourselves rethinking the future of higher education because beyond the immediate crisis, such as the wave of student protests over college fees and the rapid pace of technological development. Against the teacher for fear of recording and being replaced by “Netflixation of the academyThis is an exciting time to get a higher degree. Creativity is the key to the existence of a modern university, and as a teacher we have to create pedagogy that adapts to the post-Kovid world. If we allow this transformational process to take place, a great approach to education can be created. Accept these lessons to move away from the capitalist approach to higher education and toward a holistic and diverse learning experience, which is an end in itself. This is exactly what decolonization is all about.

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