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What comes after the pandemic? A look back and forward at changes in teaching and learning practices

The past 24 months have given rise to new practices that have been developed over several terms, giving many teachers the opportunity to branch out and assess interest and limitations. Looking forward to a time when public health measures are less present in day-to-day life, we draw upon a diachronic analysis to identify and characterize the achievements of this period and how this has shaped higher learning over time.

This is based on an analysis of a range of actions implemented within a Quebec university, integrating quantitative (online survey, 19,898 respondents) and qualitative (8 focus groups) data collection. Several angles will be presented in this paper:

  1. the importance of technological and pedagogical maturity to understand such an event,
  2. confirmed changes in students’ expectations regarding the proposed teaching modalities, showing the relevance of taking an inclusive approach in response a range of needs relating to balance,
  3. development through an approach to the value of co-presence relating to the quality of the learning experience and the campus experience, and
  4. the need to revise the norms and rules that define course formats and the practices for recognizing teaching activities.

We are clearly entering a period of experimentation with new forms of learning, and taking into account progress made during the pandemic. By analyzing this progress, stakeholders in higher education will map out the future of universities, taking on the evolution of practices and ensuring the educational functions linked to higher education, including high-level expertise, development of critical thinking, adaptability, creativity and collaboration.

Full Professor and chair of leadership in higher education pedagogy at Université Laval in Québec