What has the pandemic taught us about the diverse needs of learners? How should we be designing learning in response to a digital-first higher education environment?

In this episode, our guest is Dr. Adity Saxena, Dean of Arts and Design at Woxsen University in Delhi, India. Adity is a creative educator who has done lots of work in the area of intercultural communication, and throughout the pandemic she has been promoting the importance of empathy in designing effective online and blended learning.

Our conversation with Adity produced many lightbulb moments, and some of the key ones were:

  • how we have to address the issue of unequal access to internet and digital devices to eradicate the gap between those who can afford to access education and those who cannot.
  • as we move through the pandemic, we have to teach students how to be more self-sufficient and more able to self-create opportunities for employment;
  • that content-specialism and research credentials are no longer enough in terms of post-Covid era. Teachers need to practice and facilitate community – not just among students, but between faculties too.
  • that planning for cultural difference should be the starting point in any learning design. We need to acknowledge and value the differences in our students, respect their identities, accept them with empathy; and create trust by showing interest in their cultural backgrounds.

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