The Conversation

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Behavioral Science Proves its Worth in Tackling Viruses

The World Health Organization’s Outbreak Communications Planning Guide suggests behavior changes can reduce the spread or a viral disease by as much as 80 percent. This can mean the difference between healthcare sectors being overwhelmed or continuing to function.

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Our Crisis Fatigue Crisis and the Politics of Coronavirus

After two decades that have almost been defined by wave upon wave of crises, argues Matthew Flinders, it’s possible that the public has simply become immune to warnings from politicians and habitually distrustful of their claims.

1 year ago
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Here’s Four Weird Artifacts of Video Conferencing

People have long noticed, however, that some peculiar things happen in videoconferencing. Norm Friesen, and educational technology researcher, has explored this and presents four odd things that happen when you’re engaged in a videoconference.

1 year ago
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The 7 Deadly Sins of Coronavirus Thinking

The answer for the kind of panicked flurry in reasoning we’re seeing during the COVID-19 pandemic may lie in a field of critical thinking called vice epistemology. This theory argues our thinking habits and intellectual character traits cause poor reasoning.

1 year ago
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Lessons From a Coronavirus Symptom-Tracking App (That’s Free)

“Rather than sending out thousands of online or paper questionnaires, we teamed up with health data science company ZOE to develop a simple symptom-monitoring app called COVIDradar. The app was made from scratch in about four days and would normally take four months. Volunteer citizen scientists use it to report their health status daily and note the appearance of any new symptoms. Once we realized that there was nothing similar available in the UK to monitor symptoms on a population-wide level, we decided to make the app freely available to all.”

1 year ago
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Why Call It ‘Social Distancing’? We Need Social Connection More Than Ever

Staying socially connected in times of threat has benefits beyond helping us manage our mental well-being. Other people can provide us with practical support, like picking up groceries or passing on relevant information, as well as emotional support. This feeling is called social solidarity, and if we get it right we’ll be much better equipped to respond to this and other crises.

1 year ago
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Breaking Bad News: How to Talk With the Misinformed

It’s also common to encounter people who are misinformed but don’t know it yet. It’s one thing to double-check your own information, but what’s the best way to talk to someone else about what they think is true – but which is not true?

1 year ago
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Twixt Duck and Rabbit: Psychological Biases and Bad Coronavirus Policy

Crises rarely see human decision-making operating at its best. Politicians and policymakers have to make important decisions in unfamiliar circumstances, with vast gaps in the available information, and all in the full glare of public scrutiny. The psychology of decision making doesn’t just tell us a lot about the potential pitfalls in our own thinking – it alerts us to ways in which some of the world’s governments may go astray.

1 year ago
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14 Tips for Improving Your Online Teaching

Hundreds of thousands of teachers are busy working to move their face-to-face lessons online. Designing online courses takes significant time and effort.
Right now, however, we need a simpler formula. Here are 14 quick tips to make online teaching better, from an expert in online learning.

1 year ago
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Instantly Shifting Classes Online Is Not Trivial

Carefully implemented, online learning can make university education more accessible, affordable, interactive and student-centered. However, the way that it is being presented as a simple and practical solution to coronavirus fears, capable of replacing face-to-face teaching for a significant period, is misleading.

1 year ago
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