Swati Carr is a former Research Fellow at Extension Engine. She took an unusual route into education design coming from a 10+ year stint doing bioengineering research through her MS and then Ph.D. At Extension Engine, she designs and creates effective educational experiences on digital platforms and evaluates existing educational content against defined learning outcomes to find ways to improve them. She brings the scientific method, evidence-based decision making to all her work. Prior to Extension Engine, Swati designed authentic assessments for blended and digital learning in biosciences at MIT.
Like many avid exercisers, when it became clear in May 2020 that COVID-19 would keep me out of the gym for months to come, I explored getting a Peloton bike. Well, my excitement was short-lived: At 4′11″, I simply could not comfortably reach the handlebars. If they had been adjustable, if I could have pulled them closer by one inch — just one inch — the bike would have worked perfectly for me.
In this piece, I make a case for why schools should lean into the hybrid and online course infrastructure that they have built during the pandemic. Hybrid and online courses and programs provide schools several advantages:
Increased flexibility, for both long-term and short-term student circumstances
Enhanced residential learning, by incorporating personalized course data, ongoing assessments, and richer media types
Better returns on investments already made, through continued emergency preparedness and differentiated education offerings for price-conscious audiences
Digital transformation often begins with your search for the right tool or some ideal platform that will serve all of your needs. How often does it start with a conversation about what those needs actually are?