Will the Coronavirus Forever Alter the College Experience?

新冠疫情会永远改变大学教育吗?

纽约时报双语版-新冠疫情会永远改变大学教育吗?

Ori Toor

This article is part of our latest Learning special report, which focuses on the challenges of online education during the coronavirus outbreak.

“学习专题报道”(Learning special report)聚焦新型冠状病毒暴发期间在线教育面临的挑战,下面是专题最新发表的一篇文章。

A professor at Loyola University New Orleans taught his first virtual class from his courtyard, wearing a bathrobe and sipping from a glass of wine. Faculty at Lafayette College, in Easton, Penn., trained in making document cameras at home using cardboard and rubber bands.

新奥尔良洛约拉大学(Loyola University New Orleans)的一位教授从自家院子里讲授了他的第一节网课,他穿着浴袍,时不时抿一口葡萄酒。宾州伊斯顿拉法耶特学院(Lafayette College)的教员们接受了如何用硬纸板和橡皮筋在家里制作实物投影机的训练。

Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y., set up drive-up Wi-Fi stations for faculty members whose connections weren’t reliable enough to let them upload material to the internet. And students in a musicology course at Virginia Tech were assigned to create TikTok videos.

位于纽约州克林顿市的汉密尔顿学院(Hamilton College)为那些网络不稳定、无法上传教学材料的教员们设立了让他们能从车里上网的有Wi-Fi的停车场。弗吉尼亚理工大学(Virginia Tech)给音乐学课程的学生布置的作业是制作TikTok视频。

The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has prompted cobbled-together responses ranging from the absurd to the ingenious at colleges and universities struggling to continue teaching even as their students have receded into diminutive images, in dire need of haircuts, on videoconference checkerboards.

新冠病毒大流行打乱了高校的教学活动,迫使各个高校匆忙应对,或荒谬或巧妙,努力将教学继续下去,尽管学生们都已退缩为视频会议屏幕上格子里的小图,而且急需理发。

But while all of this is widely being referred to as online higher education, that’s not really what most of it is, at least so far. As for predictions that it will trigger a permanent exodus from brick-and-mortar campuses to virtual classrooms, all indications are that it probably won’t.

虽然所有这一切都被广泛地称为在线高等教育,但其中的大部分至少到目前为止并不能算作在线高等教育。至于那些称这将引发从实体校园到虚拟教室永久性转移的预测,所有迹象都表明那恐怕不会发生。

“What we are talking about when we talk about online education is using digital technologies to transform the learning experience,” said Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. “That is not what is happening right now. What is happening now is we had eight days to put everything we do in class onto Zoom.”

“我们所说的在线教育,是指使用数字技术来改变学习经历,”达特茅斯大学塔克商学院(Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business)教授维贾伊·戈文达拉扬(Vijay Govindarajan)说。“眼下并非如此。现在的情况是,我们有八天的时间把我们在课堂上做的所有事情都放到Zoom上去。”

There will be some important lasting impacts, though, experts say: Faculty may incorporate online tools, to which many are being exposed for the first time, into their conventional classes. And students are experiencing a flexible type of learning they may not like as undergraduates, but could return to when it’s time to get a graduate degree.

不过,专家们说,这将产生一些重要且持久的影响:教师们可能会将在线工具结合到他们的传统课堂中来,他们中的许多人是第一次接触这些工具。学生们正在经历一种灵活的学习方式,他们在本科生阶段可能不喜欢这种方式,但在他们读研究生时,可能会回到这种方式上来。

These trends may not transform higher education, but they are likely to accelerate the integration of technology into it.

这些趋势可能不会改变高等教育的形态,但可能会加快将技术与高等教育结合的速度。

This semester “has the potential to raise expectations of using these online resources to complement what we were doing before, in an evolutionary way, not a revolutionary way,” said Eric Fredericksen, associate vice president for online learning at the University of Rochester. “That’s the more permanent impact.”

这个学期“有可能会提高一种期望,那就是我们将用这些在线资源来补充我们之前所做的工作,但这会是一种渐进的方式,而不是革命的方式,”罗切斯特大学(University of Rochester)负责在线学习的副校长埃里克·弗雷德里克森(Eric Fredericksen)说。“这是更持久的影响。”

Real online education lets students move at their own pace and includes such features as continual assessments so they can jump ahead as soon as they’ve mastered a skill, Dr. Fredericksen and others said.

弗雷德里克森及其他人说,真正的在线教育是让学生按照自己的节奏学习,并提供对学生进行连续评估的功能,这样他们在掌握了一项技能后,能尽早迈出下一步。

Conceiving, planning, designing and developing a genuine online course or program can consume as much as a year of faculty training and collaboration with instructional designers, and often requires student orientation and support and a complex technological infrastructure.

构思、规划、设计和发展一个真正的在线课程或项目可能需要长达一年的时间,包括教师的培训以及与教学设计师的合作,而且往往需要学生的训练和支持,以及复杂的技术基础设施。

“Not surprisingly, when we really do this, it does take more than seven or eight days,” Dr. Fredericksen said wryly.

“毫不奇怪,当我们真这么做时,的确需要七八天以上的时间,”弗雷德里克森揶揄道。

If anything, what people are mistaking now for online education — long class meetings in videoconference rooms, professors in their bathrobes, do-it-yourself tools made of rubber bands and cardboard — appears to be making them less, not more, open to it.

如果一定要把人们现在误以为是在线教育的东西——视频会议室里漫长的课时、穿浴袍的教授、用橡皮筋和硬纸板自己动手做的工具——说成是在线教育的话,这似乎会降低人们对在线教育的接受程度,而不是提高。

“The pessimistic view is that [students] are going to hate it and never want to do this again, because all they’re doing is using Zoom to reproduce everything that’s wrong with traditional passive, teacher-centered modes of teaching,” said Bill Cope, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“悲观的看法是,(学生们)正在讨厌它,绝不想再上网课,因为他们正在做的所有事情只不过是把被动的、以教师为中心的传统教学模式中所有的错误用Zoom复制出来而已,”伊利诺伊大学香槟分校(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)的教育政策、组织和领导力教授比尔·科佩(Bill Cope)说。

Undergraduates already seemed lukewarm toward virtual higher education; only about 20 percent took even one online course in the fall of 2018, the consulting firm Eduventures estimates.

本科生似乎已经对在线高等教育没有多大兴趣;据咨询公司Eduventures估计,在2018年秋季学季,只有大约20%的本科生选过哪怕一门在线课程。

If they didn’t like that, they definitely don’t like what they’re getting this semester.

如果他们以前就不喜欢网课的话,他们肯定不喜欢这学期得到的东西。

More than 75 percent said they don’t think they’re receiving a quality learning experience, according to a survey of nearly 1,300 students by the online exam-prep provider OneClass. In a separate poll of 14,000 college and graduate students in early April by the website niche.com, which rates schools and colleges, 67 percent said they didn’t find online classes as effective as in-person ones.

在线备考服务提供商OneClass对近1300名学生开展的一项调查显示,超过75%的学生说,他们认为自己没有获得高质量的学习体验。在对中小学和大学进行排名的niche.com网站4月初对1.4万名大学生和研究生进行的另一项调查中,有67%的人说,他们认为在线授课不如面对面授课效果好。

Among college-bound high school seniors, fewer than a quarter said in December that they were open to taking even some of their college courses online, Eduventures reported; by the end of March, after some had experienced virtual instruction from their shutdown high schools, fewer than one in 10 polled by niche.com said they would consider online college classes.

Eduventures的报告称,去年12月,在打算上大学的高中毕业班学生中,只有不到四分之一的人表示,他们对大学课程中只有少部分的课选择网络教学方式持开放态度;到今年3月底时,一些学生已在他们的高中停课后有了在线上课的体验,在接受niche.com的调查时,只有不到十分之一的人表示会考虑在线授课的大学课程。

Sentiments like these suggest there’s little likelihood that students will desert their real-world campuses for cyberspace en masse. In fact, if there’s a silver lining in this situation for residential colleges and universities, it’s that students no longer take for granted the everyday realities of campus life: low-tech face-to-face classes, cultural diversions, libraries, athletics, extracurricular activities, in-person office hours and social interaction with their classmates.

类似的看法表明,学生们不太可能成批地逃离现实世界的校园,躲进网络空间。实际上,如果说目前的情况对住宿学院和大学有什么好处的话,那就是学生们不再把校园生活的日常现实——低技术的面对面授课、文化娱乐活动、图书馆、体育活动、课外活动、学生在办公时间去见教授,以及与同学的社交往来——视为理所当然。

“The beauty of a residential education has never been more apparent to people,” said Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University.

“住宿教育的魅力从未像现在这样显而易见,”卫斯理大学(Wesleyan University)校长迈克尔·罗斯(Michael Roth)说。

But advocates for true online instruction say that students’ experience of taking courses on their own schedules over mobile platforms may come back to them later, when they’re ready to move on to graduate or professional educations.

但真正的在线教学的倡导者说,学生们在自己的移动平台上按自己的时间表上课的经历,可能会在他们以后准备读研究生或专业学院时有用。

Online higher education “is a thin diet for the typical 18-year-old,” said Richard Garrett, the chief research officer at Eduventures. “But today’s 18-year-olds are tomorrow’s 28-year-olds with families and jobs, who then realize that online can be useful.”

在线高等教育“对一名典型的18岁的人来说,是过于单调的东西”,Eduventures的首席研究员理查德·加勒特(Richard Garrett)说。“但今天18岁的人,将是明天28岁的人,他们将有家庭、有工作,那时他们会意识到在线课程能对他们有用。”

Already, more than half of American adults who expect to need more education or training after this pandemic say they would do it online, according to a survey of 1,000 people by the Strada Education Network, which advocates connections between education and work.

提倡在教育和工作之间建立联系的斯特拉达教育网络(Strada Education Network)对1000人进行的一项调查显示,预计在新冠病毒大流行后需要接受更多教育或培训的美国成年人中,已有超过一半的人表示愿意在网上学习。

It isn’t entirely students who will move this needle, observers say. It’s also faculty.

观察人士说,改变在线教育局面并非全靠学生。也靠教师。

Even those who had long avoided going online have had to do it this semester, in some form or other. And they may have the most to learn from the experience, said Michael Moe, chief executive of GSV Asset Management, which focuses on education technology.

就连那些长期避免网上教学的人,这学期也不得不以这样或那样的形式进行网上教学。专注于教育技术的GSV资产管理公司(GSV Asset Management)首席执行官迈克尔·莫伊(Michael Moe)说,他们也许会从这次经历中学到最多的东西。

Along with their students, faculty were “thrown into the deep end of the pool for digital learning and asked to swim,” Mr. Moe said. “Some will sink, some will crawl to the edge of the pool and climb out and they’ll never go back in the pool ever again. But many will figure out what to do and how to kick and how to stay afloat.”

教师和他们的学生们一起“被扔进了数字学习的深水区学游泳”,莫伊说。“有些人会淹死,有些人会挣扎着从泳池边爬上来,他们从此再也不会去游泳池。但很多人将学会怎么做,怎么踢水,怎么浮在水面上。”

If there’s anyone who’s banking on this, it’s the ed-tech sector. More than 70 percent of such companies have been offering products and services to schools and colleges free or at steep discounts this semester, anticipating sales later, according to the consulting firm Productive.

如果说有人指望如此的话,那就是从事教育技术的行业。据咨询公司Productive的数据,70%以上的这类公司已在本学期向中小学和大学免费或大幅折扣地提供产品和服务,它们对以后的销售怀有预期。

Cengage, for example, is providing free subscriptions to its online textbooks, and says it has seen a 55 percent increase in the number of students who have signed up for one. Coursera is providing 550 colleges and universities with free access to its online courses.

以Cengage为例,这家公司正在提供免费的在线教科书订阅服务,并表示已经有55%的学生成了一本在线教科书的注册用户。Coursera正在向550所学院和大学提供免费的在线课程。

“Administrators and educators are reframing their attitudes,” said John Rogers, education sector lead at the $5 billion Rise Fund, which is managed by the asset company TPG and invests in ed tech. “That really is the difference-maker. The pace of adoption of those tools will accelerate.”

“管理者和教育工作者正在重新调整他们的态度,”约翰·罗杰斯(John Rogers)说,他是50亿美元的Rise基金的教育行业负责人,该基金由资产公司TPG管理,从事教育技术方面的投资。“那才是真正带来变化的事情。采用这些工具的步伐将会加快。”

People resist new ideas until external shocks force them to change, said Dr. Govindarajan, who cites as an example the way World War II propelled women into jobs that had traditionally been done by men. “We are at that kind of inflection point.”

戈文达拉扬说,人们抵制新想法,直到外部冲击迫使他们改变现状。他举了第二次世界大战将女性推至传统上由男性承担的工作岗位的例子。“我们正处于这种拐点。”

Faculty, he said, will ask themselves, “ ‘What part of what we just did can be substituted with technology and what part can be complemented by technology to transform higher education?’ ”

他说,教师们会问自己,“‘我们刚才做的这些事情哪些部分可以用技术来替代,哪些部分可以用技术来补充,从而改革高等教育?’”

Universities should consider this semester an experiment to see which classes were most effectively delivered online, he said — big introductory courses better taught through video-recorded lectures by faculty stars and with online textbooks, for example, which could be shared among institutions to lower the cost.

他说,大学应该把这学期当作一次实验,看看哪些课程可以最有效地在线授课,例如,入门大课最好是用明星教师录制的视频讲座和在线教材来教授,这类课可以多所大学共享,从而降低成本。

Students who want classes best provided face to face, such as those in the performing arts or that require lab work, would continue to take them that way.

那些想上最好是面对面授课的课程(比如表演艺术课或需要做实验的课)的学生,会继续选择面对面的方式。

“Let’s take advantage of this moment to start a larger conversation” about the whole design of higher education, Dr. Govindarajan said.

“让我们利用这个时刻,(对高等教育的整体设计)展开一场更广泛的对话,”戈文达拉扬说。

“We had better not lose this opportunity.”

“最好不要失去这个机会。”