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Albert Sangra - Quality Online Education beyond the post-pandemic effects
Quality online education beyond
the post-pandemic effects
Prof. Albert Sangrà
Full professor in Education
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
UNESCO Chair Holder in Education
& Technology for Social Change Online, 6 April 2021
1. COVID-19: a historical emergency
2. Online education: looking for
3. Ten tips to improve online
teaching and learning
4. DigiTel Pro on online education
5. Closing remarks
“When we thought we had all the
answers, suddenly, all the
questions were changed.”
Fuente: CC-BY https://geografia.laguia2000.com/
COVID-19: a historical emergency
Our action plan: we have (just) digitized our teaching
● It came from a unexpected change
● Any training or preparation were provided
● Important resources could lack
● No pedagogical design nor approach
● It reflected the same behaviour we could find in a classroom
● Difficult to be understood by the users (students, families…)
• Lockdowns don’t let the students to attend to educational
• We could not plan the reaction: It could be improved
• Digital growth has been the only scape valve
• The digital divide is still a great barrier
• Hybridization of learning is already there
Some (provisory) lessons from the pandemic
“If they have adapted
themselves in a matter of
hours (or days), they have not
adapted well.” (Cristina de
The great threat: conformism
Pillars of the future of learning
Redecker, C. et al. (2011). The Future of Learning:
Preparing for Change. Publications Office of the
European Union. DOI: 10.2791/64117 (online)
Pillars of the future of learning
4 (+1) catalysts for the metamorphosis of learning
• Connected networks enable connected learning
• Empowerment of learners
• Overcoming time and space barriers
• Acceptance of the existence of an unconcious,
informal, invisible and silent learning
• The discontinuity or intermittence generated by
the situation of the pandemic
Online education is a fuzzy concept
Its definition depends of everyone’s use
● Traditional distance education using new technologies
● E-learning, with a strong technology-based approach
● It implies synchronous and asynchronous solutions, … or maybe not
● It can be understood as a simple replica of classroom lectures, usually
based on video-lectures; as a PDF delivery model; or as an accessible
repository of documents
● All this leads to considerable confusion for those people
who are really interested in it for the first time.
Sangrà, A., Vlachopoulos, D., & Cabrera, N. (2012). Building an inclusive definition of e-learning: An
approach to the conceptual framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed
Learning, 13(2), 145-159. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v13i2.1161
● Online education and
virtualization or digitization of
teaching are very different
● Online education continues to
grow around the world and
there are high quality models
Sense of group
Access to content
Docencia no presencial de emergencia
Emergency remote teaching
How did we react to the pandemic
Download for free:
(English version coming soon)
3. Ten tips for improving
online teaching and
They have to be simple and to work
solidly. Appropriate for any single aim and
supported by tutorials.
Help your students to self-organize. They
have to have a routine. Use task and activity
reminders. Share the learning process on
the use of technology.
A good design and planning are essential.
Maybe you can’t design an entire course, but
some specific activities to get the students
Your teaching has to be more focused on the
activity than on the content. Consider
authentic activities that could be divided into
tasks and that allow competences to
dynamics in the
Learning resources are the means to access the
content. They have to be accessible, and can be
created from scratch or to reuse those that can be
found in the Net if its quality is good enough.
Carry out collaborative activities to foster
asychronous interaction among students.
Synchronous situations can also be designed if
they are essential. They have to be short and with
very well defined aims.
Make asessment criteria explicit, as well
as the kind of feedback you will provide.
Foster constinuous assessment: it makes
monitoring of the students easier, and
increases students’ engagement.
If the students are not used, they risk to feel isolated.
Don’t allow it. Make them feel like they are part of a
community where everyone has the same goal: to learn
There is a great opportunity for making themselves
aware –with your support- on the benefits and the risks
of using technologies.
They could help us to define activities, solve doubts, and
feel supported. Exchange online teaching practices and
resorces and make them all accessible.
• to explore and forecast educational needs of teaching staff and learners within and after the COVID+ era;
• to exchange expertise between researchers and innovators on synchronous hybrid, blended and online
distance learning, optimizing models and guidelines for short-term and future
• to design, plan and develop continuing education courses enabling anyone involved in course and curriculum
development in adapting to hybrid, blended and online distance learning;
• to empower student readiness for digital learning by an online course and integrating the “student voice” in
all learning scenarios;
• to reinforce the ability of universities to provide high quality, inclusive and scalable digital education.
Intellectual outputs on Online Education:
• To design, develop and implement a CPD course to enhance online and distance teaching and
learning in European universities.
DigiTel Pro Project
• An open access report on the state of art research, innovation and good practices of online and
distance education and conclusions related to the COVID 19 context.
• A compendium of selected best practice training materials and/or resources for CPD for online and
• Design of a CPD course for online and distance education, taking into account the needs of teaching
staff in the COVID 19 period and beyond.
• The course will have a modular structure and will be designed in alignment with the needs
of universities, a strong concept and relevant learning objectives.
• The leading design principle is active learning.
• Participants can create content and do assignments that will help them in their work.
• The average course workload of a participant is 30 hours. A certificate or credit points can
• The course will include a teacher manual that others can use to teach the course
• The course will be integrated in a final CPD programme for digital education, focusing on the three
teaching and learning scenarios (synchronous hybrid, blended and fully online), student readiness
for online learning, and institutional change.