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It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for instructional designers. It's been a time of uncertainty and adaptation as we navigate new ways of teaching and learning. However, even though the pandemic has been overwhelming at times, it's exciting to think about the possibilities that lie ahead.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced rapid changes in the way organizations operate. With the shift to remote work and new technologies, leaders had to adapt quickly to keep their businesses operational. These changes usually take time to plan and implement and convincing employees to embrace new systems can be challenging. However, the crisis forced everyone to realize that change was necessary.
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At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, instructional technology became necessary for teachers, instructors, and educators. Everyone had to accept this change regardless of their previous opinion of technology. Moving to an emergency remote teaching (ERT) format focused on getting the courses online as quickly as possible. As a result, instructional designers, teachers, and administrators may have selected instructional technology tools based on how quickly they could implement the tech and the cost involved.
Andragogy (adult learning theory) first appeared as a learning theory in the 1950s, and in 1968 Malcolm Knowles extended the research by presenting six assumptions of andragogy. The author defined andragogy as "the art and science of helping adults learn" (Knowles, 1988, p. 43). The theory is focused on the difference between adult learners' needs as opposed to pedagogy, which is centered on the needs of younger learners.
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With the rise of technology, distance learning has grown from a novelty to a necessity. Before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, many instructors and teachers resisted utilizing a partial or complete distance learning option. Despite the evidence that an online course is as effective as a face-to-face course, the assumption that distance education is inferior persists.