Data Management And An Own Educational Model
The influence of the pandemic on university education has been reflected in figures. According to UNESCO estimates, around 1.5 billion students in 165 countries have had their studies altered since the appearance of COVID-19, which has forced the international academic community to rethink its education model.
The report Coping with COVID-19: International Higher Education in Europe, produced by the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and based on the concerns of more than 800 people working in higher education in 38 European countries, highlighted the concern for the short and long-term impact of the crisis in areas such as student mobility or technology management. And a survey conducted by the International Association of Universities (IAU,
Faced with this scenario, experts consider that the higher education model is going to change , and that for its operation, whether hybrid or online, to be effective, it will have to have its own design in which one of the keys will be the data governance.
“In the world of teaching, where more and more everything is going to be recorded and can be monitored, it is very important to generate mechanisms and systems that allow us to process this data in order to have more information about our students and their needs, with the necessary privacy and zeal in its use “, points out Albert Sangrà, professor at the UOC and director of the UNESCO Chair of Education and Technology for Social Change.
For this reason, everything that has to do with data governance is going to be a fundamental element, since the digital world opens a privileged window to observe and recognize needs and opportunities. It is one of the conclusions of the cycle of colloquia organized by the UOC and the IAU in which the impact of COVID-19 on higher education has been analyzed over six sessions, in which more than a thousand of people from the five continents.
As Trine Jensen, responsible for Higher Education and Digital Transformation at the IAU and one of the organizers of the cycle, explains, the more than 1,200 professionals from more than a hundred countries who have registered in the colloquia show the importance of promoting this type of exchanges: “
It is an experience that Albert Sangrà, professor of the Studies of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the UOC and head of the cycle, describes as “very positive” for having worked with a high level of collaboration with the IAU, “which has allowed that many people from all over the world who were interested in the topic that we proposed to them have participated, which indicates that it is a global phenomenon that is affecting all people, no matter where they are or where they are from. “
As Trine Jensen recalls, when this series of colloquia was proposed a year after the pandemic, the objective was not to discuss what the response had been in education, but to look to the future, to draw lessons “to help define and create the higher education we want. ” And in those lessons learned, which will set the direction of the post-COVID-19 university, there are several elements in addition to the importance of data governance.
Among them, dedicating time and efforts to a complete design of the educational model, which experts identify as an essential task for a quality university. “Whether online or hybrid, the design of the course and its characteristics is one of the elements most valued by the educational community and which has stood out as central,” says Sangrà, who recalls that, Within that design, special attention must be paid to evaluation.
The need to “recreate and reimagine different ways of evaluating in these different contexts, and to tend towards a certain diversification of evaluation methods, is another fundamental task”, says the UOC professor.
Finally, a fourth element that has been identified as key in the university education of the future is the interaction and collaboration between students., as well as between students and teachers. According to Albert Sangrà, any solution, be it hybrid or online, must avoid limiting itself to passive consumption of content. On the contrary, the ideal is that it be designed with interaction elements that propose and promote contact between students, regardless of whether this contact is synchronous or asynchronous.
“It is not essential that the interaction coincide in time, the important thing is to determine models that allow interaction”, says the UOC professor. “The future of learning and teaching is not exclusively online or exclusively face-to-face, but rather a future with complementary learning modes to address the different needs of students around the world,” warns Trine Jensen.