Distance learning is a way of studying without the learner being physically present in a classroom. It can be fully remote or ‘blended’ with in-person learning and is now usually underpinned by the use of digital technologies and resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rapid switch to distance learning. This POSTnote provides an overview of current trends in distance learning, evidence on key challenges and opportunities and potential future developments.
New additions to the work programme
The POST Board convened on 16 September 2020 and approved three new POSTnotes. We aim to start work on these topics in the coming months.
To produce POSTnotes, advisers and fellows talk to a variety of stakeholders from industry, government, academia, and the third sector. These experts help us identify important themes and point us in the direction of critical literature. They even help us peer-review the final reports.
Could you contribute with literature, expertise or as a peer-reviewer? Click on the scope of the topic you are interested in below to find out.
This POSTnote will summarise the latest trends in children’s diet, obesity and related health conditions. It will review the impacts of previous policy changes such as the tax on sugar sweetened drinks. It will also examine the growing gap in outcomes for children from the most and least deprived backgrounds. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on childhood obesity.
Preventing zoonotic diseases
This POSTnote will review the evidence on a One Health approach to zoonoses prevention. It will focus on the animal-environment-human interface in both wild and domestic animals. This includes reviewing national and international policy approaches, and lessons learnt from previous epidemics. It will also summarise opportunities and challenges for the UK’s role in global health and biosecurity policy arenas after COVID-19. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on preventing zoonotic diseases.
Digital skills for life
This POSTnote will discuss the digital skills required for everyday life and employment. It will look at why parts of the population may lack these skills and which groups are most affected. It will also review the impact of the skills shortage on people and the economy, as well as ways to improve the population’s digital skills. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on digital skills for life.
Other work in production
- AI and healthcare
- Algorithms and accountability
- Development of vaccine technologies
- Distance learning
- Effective biodiversity indicators
- Food waste
- Heat networks
- Industry influence on public health policy
- Living organ donations
- Mental health impacts of COVID-19
- Mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and carers
- Regulating product sustainability
- Researching gambling
- Screen time and health in young people
- Smart cities
- Sustainable cooling
- Testosterone and sports performance
What does it mean to reformulate food and drinks? How does it support healthier diets and lead to public health benefits? This POSTnote gives an overview of the most recent food and drink reformulation policies in the UK, the evidence on public health benefits and the effectiveness of different policies. It also explores challenges and opportunities for reformulation and describes some of the complementary approaches to improve public health.
There are various applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare, such as helping clinicians to make decisions, monitoring patient health, and automating routine administrative tasks. This POSTnote gives an overview of these uses, and their potential impacts on the cost and quality of healthcare, and on the workforce. It summarises the challenges to wider adoption of AI in healthcare, including those relating to safety, privacy, data-sharing, trust, accountability and health inequalities. It also outlines some of the regulations relevant to AI, and how these may change. As healthcare is a devolved issue, policies on healthcare AI differ across the UK. This POSTnote focusses on regulations and policies relevant to England.