Coronavirus Impact on Higher Education and Resources for More Information

The Impact on Higher Education

Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus and the resulting disease COVID-19 have disrupted everything and everyone, both across the U.S. and around the world. To keep this virus from spreading, the CDC and governments at all levels have encouraged “social distancing,”[1] leading to the widespread cancellation of events and closure of non-essential businesses. As a result, the campuses of most higher education institutions have been closed, and students have been sent home or told not to return from spring break. Institutions are now forced to move classes online, requiring crash courses for faculty in both remote teaching and online curriculum development to prepare them for emergency online teaching.[2]

Higher Digital’s clients include 3 of the top 10 online education institutions in the United States.  We are intimately familiar with the requirements of standing up distance learning programs. While these clients may have a head start, every size and type of institution is struggling to convert to an almost fully remote workforce. Larger institutions often have the staffing and resources to shift gears without the degree of disruption faced by smaller schools, where already stretched IT staffs and budgets can be easily overwhelmed by the challenge.[3]

Depending on a school’s culture, its faculty or academic staff fall somewhere along the spectrum of resistance to/acceptance of online education.  Now that they are faced with a mandate to deliver their courses to suddenly remote students (at least in the short term), they must catch up quickly. There are thorny challenges common to any online learning operation, from replicating hands-on lab work,[4] to concerns about the proctoring of exams—or academic integrity in general.[5] Schools that haven’t yet begun the transition may feel justifiably lost, or even paralyzed, as they try to turn on a dime. But every type of educational institution needs to work to ensure that they don’t disadvantage students who lack access to the required technology, financial support, a safe and stable environment, or even continuing student visas.[6] [7] [8]

Higher Digital realizes that in the short term, our direct assistance will primarily be limited to existing clients, but we want to help institutions generally however we can. To that end, we have compiled this listing of trusted resources, many of which point to further sources of information, advice, and technology tools or discounts. Please contact us if you have any questions, corrections, or suggestions at [email protected].

Resources and Information About Coronavirius/COVID-19

Higher Education

Governments and General Information


[1] Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

[2] Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching - The Chronicle of Higher Education

[3] Before the coronavirus, telework was an optional benefit, mostly for the affluent few | Pew Research Center

[4] Lights, Camera, Experiment! | Hub (JHU)

[5] Academic Dishonesty and Online Education (Part 1): Understanding the Problem | The EvoLLLution

[6] Students across the US are being asked to work remotely. But 22% of homes don't have internet | Dana Floberg | Opinion | The Guardian

[7] As colleges confronting coronavirus tell students to move out, many urge attention to the needs of vulnerable students | Inside Higher Ed

[8] With Coronavirus Keeping Them in U.S., International Students Face Uncertainty. So Do Their Colleges. - The Chronicle of Higher Education


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25 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Impact on Higher Education and Resources for More Information

The Impact on Higher Education

Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus and the resulting disease COVID-19 have disrupted everything and everyone, both across the U.S. and around the world. To keep this virus from spreading, the CDC and governments at all levels have encouraged “social distancing,”[1] leading to the widespread cancellation of events and closure of non-essential businesses. As a result, the campuses of most higher education institutions have been closed, and students have been sent home or told not to return from spring break. Institutions are now forced to move classes online, requiring crash courses for faculty in both remote teaching and online curriculum development to prepare them for emergency online teaching.[2]

Higher Digital’s clients include 3 of the top 10 online education institutions in the United States.  We are intimately familiar with the requirements of standing up distance learning programs. While these clients may have a head start, every size and type of institution is struggling to convert to an almost fully remote workforce. Larger institutions often have the staffing and resources to shift gears without the degree of disruption faced by smaller schools, where already stretched IT staffs and budgets can be easily overwhelmed by the challenge.[3]

Depending on a school’s culture, its faculty or academic staff fall somewhere along the spectrum of resistance to/acceptance of online education.  Now that they are faced with a mandate to deliver their courses to suddenly remote students (at least in the short term), they must catch up quickly. There are thorny challenges common to any online learning operation, from replicating hands-on lab work,[4] to concerns about the proctoring of exams—or academic integrity in general.[5] Schools that haven’t yet begun the transition may feel justifiably lost, or even paralyzed, as they try to turn on a dime. But every type of educational institution needs to work to ensure that they don’t disadvantage students who lack access to the required technology, financial support, a safe and stable environment, or even continuing student visas.[6] [7] [8]

Higher Digital realizes that in the short term, our direct assistance will primarily be limited to existing clients, but we want to help institutions generally however we can. To that end, we have compiled this listing of trusted resources, many of which point to further sources of information, advice, and technology tools or discounts. Please contact us if you have any questions, corrections, or suggestions at [email protected].

Resources and Information About Coronavirius/COVID-19

Higher Education

Governments and General Information


[1] Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

[2] Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching – The Chronicle of Higher Education

[3] Before the coronavirus, telework was an optional benefit, mostly for the affluent few | Pew Research Center

[4] Lights, Camera, Experiment! | Hub (JHU)

[5] Academic Dishonesty and Online Education (Part 1): Understanding the Problem | The EvoLLLution

[6] Students across the US are being asked to work remotely. But 22% of homes don’t have internet | Dana Floberg | Opinion | The Guardian

[7] As colleges confronting coronavirus tell students to move out, many urge attention to the needs of vulnerable students | Inside Higher Ed

[8] With Coronavirus Keeping Them in U.S., International Students Face Uncertainty. So Do Their Colleges. – The Chronicle of Higher Education


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