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Learn Environ Res ; : 1-15, 2022 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777756


In 2020, King's College London introduced HyFlex teaching as a means to supplement online and face-to-face teaching and to respond to Covid-19 restrictions. This enabled teaching to a mixed cohort of students (both online and on campus). This article provides an outline of how such an approach was conceptualized and implemented in a higher-education institution during an intense three-month period over that summer and prior to the limited re-opening of the university campus. This was a new approach that offers a number of pointers for reflection and provides key insights in on this novel learning environment and the physical and pedagogical contexts in which learning can occur. Technical implementation factors are detailed, along with both reflections on challenges and solutions. Pedagogical issues such as cognitive load, social presence, and resolving the issues of a cohort spread across two locations are discussed. While we should be mindful of the limitations of this relatively-specific research, and shouldn't therefore over-extrapolate our findings, one key finding is that delivering Hyflex is associated with a higher cognitive load. Further, the audio quality of our implementation enhanced the feeling of presence in the learning environment. We recommend providing appropriate technical and pedagogical training, as well as audio-visual and digital education support.

Front Psychol ; 12: 650314, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231395


A worldwidemental health crisis is expected, as millions worldwide fear death and disease while being forced into repeated isolation. Thus, there is a need for new proactive approaches to improve mental resilience and prevent mental health conditions. Since the 1990s, art has emerged as an alternative mental health therapy in the United States and Europe, becoming part of the social care agenda. This article focuses on how visual esthetic experiences can create similar patterns of neuronal activity as those observed when the reward system is activated. The activation of the reward structures could have a stress buffering effect, given the interdependence observed between the reward and stress systems. Therefore, could visual esthetic experiences stimulate mental resilience? And if this were the case, could art-based interventions be offered for mental health in the context of COVID-19 and beyond?