The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) has today announced the launch of a new initiative to support its members, their students and the contact lens industry, and help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global contact lens education.
Teach. Learn. Connect. is a new online education program and communications campaign beginning this month that will supplement IACLE’s existing educational activities as the recovery from the pandemic continues.
‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Global Contact Lens Education’ survey conducted in May 2020 among IACLE Educator Members worldwide reveals:
• 71% of their institutions are currently closed to students to attend in person
• 76% expect to provide more online lectures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
• 87% expect to use IACLE resources more in future and none expect to use them less
Full results of the survey, with respondents across 32 countries, will be published soon.
The TLC Initiative will include:
• A full program of live and recorded webinars on a global, regional and national basis to help educators and students adapt to new ways of teaching and learning.
• A half-day virtual conference in September to ‘Bring the focus back to contact lenses’. The conference will examine the way forward for education, practice and for the contact lens industry.
• Our new teaching online platform – IACLETOP – which will become IACLE’s central point to access all IACLE’s online resources and teaching materials. Fifteen webinars are already available on IACLETOP and new resources will be added, starting with an online Student Trial Exam and new tools for teaching and learning practical skills.
• Opportunities for industry to connect with educators and students worldwide.
• Communications providing new information to support all sectors during the pandemic recovery, including IACLE’s first social media campaign.
IACLE’s next series of global webinars will begin on 23 June with ‘Exploring the move to online teaching, learning and assessment’, led by Richard Beggs from Ulster University’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice. This webinar will explore how educators can best teach online in a way that encourages student participation. Future webinars will include an opportunity for students to share their own experiences of learning online.
IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘IACLE already has a vast range of online resources and programs and is ideally placed to support our community of educators, students and industry with new methods of teaching, learning and connecting. The TLC Initiative will provide essential resources to help all of us to adapt to the rapidly changing situation, and continue to deliver world-class education to the practitioners of tomorrow.’