South Africa: Remote Learning Is Set to Dramatically Change the Academic Landscape


The future of work has been irreversibly altered. Some version of a hybrid remote-office-industry working model is here to stay, depending on the industry. Universities will do well to create curricula that nurture the next level of skills to allow students to succeed in a hybrid working environment.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic during the 2020 academic year saw almost all contact universities around the world faced with an urgent need to swiftly transition to an online, remote or blended approach to teaching and learning if there was to be any hope of salvaging the academic year.

In doing so, institutions had to be cognisant of the needs and requirements of all stakeholders, including technical and academic staff, regulatory bodies, advisory boards, auditors, and many others. Most importantly, of course, were the needs of their students, who were presented with all manner of challenges, leading many to finally realise the multitude of difficulties that students are really faced with.

Remarkably, the mammoth task of building capacity for online engagement among staff and students, developing training workshops, distributing hardware, software and data, delivering printed copies of lecture notes in some instances, and completely designing a remote teaching, learning and assessment...

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