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Thanks Miguel for this eye-opening and provocative (in the best way) post!
I agree with a majority (if not all) of your opinions and to confess, I also had similar experiences. I could add that most of the time, we do not miss only teacher-student interaction but also student-student interaction in virtual classes.
For the pathos-empathy discussion, your suggestion of the flipped class technique is one of the best ideas. By this way, the classical learning part can be 'at home' (asynchronous most of the time), and the '-ahhhaaa moments' (as Eric Mazur calls them) can take place 'in the virtual classroom' (synchronous most of the time). But for this, much more than in a face-to-face class, the teacher needs to plan ahead for each task and think about how the students can interact.
That being said, I believe the interaction in a virtual classroom will depend on the instructor’s teaching style (e.g., direct instruction, break-out rooms, moderated discussions) and the different interaction methods (e.g., audio, polls, text chat, feedbacks) as in real classrooms.
It is clear that virtual learning is our only option right now and we should make the most of it. What is not clear is if the virtual learning will replace the traditional teaching.
My opinion is that both forms of teaching-learning have their own importance.
My hope is, based on our experiences today, teachers will make the best use of both forms in a blended way in the future.
Thanks again for this great post!
Thanks to you both, Ferhan and Andreas. It’s good to know you agree with most comments at the post.
You suggest a “blended way in the future”. Maybe we are living a kairos, i.e. facing an educational challenge. Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment in time to change things. Is the current pandemic a kairos for changing the educational model? Should the classical textbooks be replaced by video lectures?
This would mean to have just a few superb lecturers in each language who record say first-year undergraduate biochemistry content that is used by everyone else. Should thus the predominant teaching format in the future be based on the flipped class, with students attending online video lectures at home and physical questions/answers classes at the university or school?