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Post COVID Foundation Biology through Interactive Online Learning

Adrienne Burns 1,2, Lea Labeur 1, and Nicholas Andronicos 2
1. School of Environment & Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
2. School of Science & Technology, Armidale, Australia

Abstract—The rapid migration of courses from blended teaching to a fully online learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic required the timely development of new, online teaching resources and re-imagined strategies, to teach practical skills to university students. The move to deliver content that was fully online challenged the assumptions and conventions about the use of face-to-face classes, especially in STEM disciplines that rely on experiential learning. This critical review uses case studies to describe the innovations that were used to adapt undergraduate, first year (foundation) biology courses which were previously delivered using a blended learning pedagogy to a fully online format. In doing so, the opportunities to enhance traditionally practical based activities have also been considered. Future innovations for blended learning, however, require inherent properties and capacity of technologies to support aligned learning tasks. Reflections on the crisis response to learning however, act as a catalyst for educational change towards more flexible models and practices in future interconnected learning environments. 
Index Terms—blended learning, e-learning, undergraduate STEM, virtual laboratory, experiential learning

Cite: Adrienne Burns, Lea Labeur, and Nicholas Andronicos, "Post COVID Foundation Biology through Interactive Online Learning," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 154-165, June 2021. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.7.2.154-165

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.