This long-standing British Institution is taking the opportunity provided by COVID-19 to reassess and evaluate its business practices, specifically with regards to online learning. “COVID has accelerated the decision-making process by about five years,” says Simon Thomas, course leader at USW. He believes that universities today can learn a lot from the private sector. And that the ones that don’t might hit trouble down the road.
“Entrepeneurial thinking,” he says, “doesn’t devalue the offer of education…[education leaders] do need to adopt that agile mindset”. Simon even goes one step further to suggest online learning can offer a more personal learning experience, with deeper engagement and a distraction-free environment. He believes that what students really need to hear is “meaninguful feedback. What did I do right and wrong?” With online learning, students get “a dedicated 15 to 20 minutes, one-to-one, of meaningful conversation.”
These two different institutions address the question of what teaching needs to achieve, albeit in very different ways. USW reframes the pandemic as an opportunity to re-engage with the most impactful parts of the learning experience. Torrens, on the other hand, rethinks education entirely to offer a new experience focussed on outcomes. They’re both an inspiration for us to re-engage with the first principles of education and make sure they’re front and centre in our marketing activities.