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Panel 3 - Moving Online

Panel 3 - Moving Online


Mohammed Abdullahi (PGR, Institute for Employment Research)

Peiwei Ren (PGT, Warwick Business School)

Anusha Sharma (PGT, Economics)

Srinjoy Sen (PGR, Economics)


Vanshika Saxena (PGT, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies)

Post-pandemic trend: digitalised medical contributions of UK-based Nigerian doctors to their home country 

Mohammed Abdullahi & Abdul-lateef Awodele (PGR, Institute for Employment Research) (online)

Keywords: Post-pandemic trend: digitalised medical contributions of UK-based Nigerian doctors to their home country.

The unanticipated emergence of COVID-19 and its resultant effects have curated a viral spread and adoption of digital tools in all domains of our societies. Therefore, leading to the digital transformation of several activities into remote or hybrid formats. Meanwhile, the beginning of the 21st century saw the gradual movement of Nigerians in a mass movement to Europe and America for what is termed economic survival and while this has led to limited numbers of medical professionals in Nigeria, the need for an emergency in COVID 19 management created an avenue for Nigerian transnational Nigerians doctors in the United Kingdom to became a central point in medical outreach through the convergence of digital tools such as Twitter, zoom and other digital medical apps through which they contribute overwhelmingly to the management of health issues amongst Nigerians. This study is poised on the ground that COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of social interaction around the world and examines the contributions of Nigerian transnational doctors in the United Kingdom in exploring digital tools to provide medical outreach and consultancy to Nigerians at home. These medical practitioners are divided into two groups. The first set of medical such as 54gene uses digital media as alternative means of making money through charges from clientele who use applications built by these doctors. However, others, whom we can categorise as philanthropic doctors, resulted in voluntary non-governmental social remittance adventures where they use digital platforms to sensitise Nigerians on various insightful health clarifications on Twitter and other social media. These digitalised solutions came at a time when digital tools have become the leading estate in the numerous forms of our social surveillance and make us sensitive to a world of crisis. The study, therefore, presents that the transnational Nigerian medical practitioners using virtual methodology became a centre of attention as information givers, medical consultants and aid contributors following their roles during the pandemic where they formulated different strategies to help Nigerians back home manage and prevent COVID-19.

Digital innovation in virtual classroom - how digital tools improve teaching performance of Project-Based Learning within a virtual classroom

Peiwei Ren (PGT, Warwick Business School)

Keywords: Digital innovation, Virtual Classroom

As the Covid outbreak around 2020, more policies of keeping social distance were distributed in order to prevent the spread of pandemic. Hence, the needs of distance learning for schools increased under the unexpected lockdown. Thus, it has created huge demands for virtual classroom. By using software such as Zoom, teachers can carry out normal educational teaching activities. Also, many schools are developing their own online platform for virtual learnings. However, due to the lack of sufficient experience, usage of virtual classroom is still flawed, as sometimes it cannot fully show the contents of traditional class. Thus, the study firstly focus on what digital innovative tools could improve performance of virtual classroom.

On the other hand, a new teaching method called ‘Project-Based Learning’ (PBL) is gradually penetrating into education. Different with traditional teaching method, PBL is a ‘student centered’ pedagogy which allows student to explore authentic problems by themselves. After the transition from offline to online class, teachers need to adapt online environment while they are trying to use PBL in virtual classroom. Although teachers may face challenges for PBL in virtual environment, a good environment is likely to increase efficiency of PBL’s implementation. Hence, for the second research question, the study will understand the extent of these digital innovative tools could help teachers facilitate PBL within virtual environment.

Previous literature revealed that various digital innovation provides more possibilities for improving performance of education. The use of virtual classroom and PBL to teach becomes a mainstream for educational practitioners. The virtual classroom and PBL are significantly effective for learners, however their effectiveness for teachers is still unclear since the lack of experiences of digital skills. And the utility of PBL in virtual classroom is still unclear. The digital innovation and digital tools possibly improve PBL learning process in a virtual class.

Impact of Digital Education on the Mental Health of Students

Anusha Sharma (PGT, Economics)

Keywords: Digital education, digital divide, children's mental health, social isolation, gender discrimination

The pandemic saw education institutions all over the world resort to virtual channels of communication to ensure smooth progression of the teaching-learning process. This process of virtual dissemination of course content, however, caused children to be isolated and cut-off from the real world where they could interact with their peers. Most children lost the opportunity to have social interactions and form relationships outside of their homes. This phenomenon made the social and emotional development of children and adolescents come to a temporary halt.

On the other hand, using online channels as a medium of education assumes that all students have access to devices to attend classes. This, however, is not the case in several regions especially in developing countries, where the lower strata of society either have no or very limited access to the internet. The unavailability of digital devices led to a much higher drop out rate during the pandemic among the poorer section of society. The aspect of gender discrimination was also at play here as families that had access to one device prioritized their male children’s education over that of the female children. This caused an entire section of the population to feel alienated.

Both the above-mentioned factors had an impact on the mental health of the students and that is what this research aims to study. Through this research, I wish to establish a relationship between and attempt to measure the impact of digital education on the mental health of students, taking social isolation and digital divide as the independent variables and an index of mental health indicators as the dependent variable. This study will be focused in India as both factors are applicable to India. I hope to suggest some practical interventions, based on the results of the study, to remedy these issues as well.

Covid-19 Lockdown, (Un)Employment and Mental Health: Evidence from UK

Subhasish Dey, Srinjoy Sen & Atisha Gosh (PGR, Economics)Keywords: Covid-19, Mental Health, Casual InferenceThe Covid-19 Pandemic has not only affected the physical health of people but also had deleterious effects on the mental health and well-being of large swathes of the population across countries. We use longitudinal data from earlier waves of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS or Understanding Society) and the April, May, June 2020 waves of the UKHLS COVID-19 study to assess the impact of employment shocks arising from the first nationwide UK lockdown in March 2020 on individual’s mental health. We aim to evaluate the impact of employment shocks arising from the reduction in hours worked compared to the pre-lockdown period (Jan-Feb 2020) on proxy measures of mental health using a quasi-experimental research design such as difference-in-difference (DiD) methods. We further managed to identify the reasons for the reduction in work hours compared to Jan-Feb 2020 which could be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic or the national lockdown such as being laid off, being made redundant, furloughed, employer cutting tasks and self-isolation. Our main result is that Covid-19 related fall in workhours significantly worsened mental health outcomes - respondents who faced Covid-19 related fall in employment were 3 ppt. more likely to be at the risk of mental health problems. We check for the validity of our DiD methods using event-study specifications to ensure that there are no diverging pre-trends. We also make our findings robust by conducting matched-DID estimations so as to control for individual and household level factors which could influence reduction in workhours. The main contribution of our paper is to establish a causal impact of Covid-19 on mental health by exploiting the channel of Covid-19-lockdown induced unemployment using a quasi-experimental research design.