Covid Online Teaching and Learning Experience

Since the government has announced that all teaching and learning is to be carried out online until the end of the year, all lecturers and students have to learn to adapt to this new norm. It was difficult at first, especially the consultation part. Previously, we could schedule a face to face meeting with the students and show them where they went wrong or how should they answer their questions. I too, prefer this method since their level of understanding are well written on their face. You can’t lie to a teacher!

School, Teacher, Education, Asia
However, since the MCO was announced, this method is not accessible anymore making it a bit difficult for me to gauge the students understanding. All of them are behind their computers/ laptops/ tablets/ phones and I do not know whether they are really engaged with my lesson or was just there for the sake of class attendance. 

Office, Business, Accountant, Accounting

I am teaching law by the way and I guess because of all the theories involved in this subject, it is less attractive to the students. There are sections and cases to comprehend and students are also expected to know how to apply these in their answers. During lectures which are conducted online, I will explain to them about the sections and cases. Whenever prompted on whether they understand what I had explained earlier, majority of them typed YES in the chatbox. Yes, I had doubt with their YES answer since I could not see their facial expression to confirm it. 

Women, Teamwork, Team, Business, People

One day, I decided not to explain about the cases but let them to do it on their own. Based on what I had always done in lectures, where I would draw the cases by using pictograph on the whiteboard online, I instructed them to do the same. I chose few cases and divided them into small groups to present the case to me. The time given for them to prepare was one week. In this one week, nobody had contacted me to inquire on how to do it or even asking for directions on how to complete the task. So naturally, I had a bad feeling about this. I thought my expectation would fail me. Either they had forgotten about the task or they simply did not do it because they do not know how to start. 

I had goosebumps before our class that week. I asked everyone, are you ready? Everyone answered positively. Then I told the first group to start drawing on the whiteboard and I waited. OK, I saw a circle was drawn. Then an arrow. Then a box. I could see a sentence was typed. To my surprise, the case is now complete. And it was done in perfecto! They really understand how to explain the cases as what I had always done in class and they had done it for cases which I had not describe yet. The same goes for all the cases assigned that day. I was so happy that I made a point to send them an announcement in our online learning portal praising them for their brilliant presentation that day. 

Kids, Girl, Pencil, Drawing, Notebook

It was an extraordinary experience for me during this MCO. While majority had doubts about the effectiveness of online classes, I had different experiences and this story was just to name one out of many. I agree that 100% engagement could not be achieved in online classes, but then, wasn’t it the same pre MCO too? Even in physical classes there would be students who need extra attention or a gentle push from their lecturers. 

The government is doing their best to fight this pandemic  that has affected the whole word. As a lecturer, I think this would be my very, very, very small contribution in supporting the government’s effort in doing so... I learn to adapt to online teaching.

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