As we adapt to new ways of working and living in the same environment, we wanted to know how it’s been for our teachers and students. One of our Health and Social Care teachers, Salahuddin, gives us his experiences of teaching online so far.
What are you doing with your students at the moment?
I’ve still been teaching according to my scheduled timetable as detailed by the department before lockdown to date (e.g. group teaching; 1:1 support: providing extra help and support to complete assignments; moral support; during tutorials- looking after learners’ PIES particularly their mental health during this lockdown (e.g. anxiety and stress are two common mental health issues) and supporting teaching and learning during this difficult time and keeping in touch on regular basis.
In comparison to classroom learning, what does online learning offer that a classroom doesn’t? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Cost-effective - efficient plan of lessons can be made by various tools; most colleges and universities have been offering Teams & Zoom on educational platforms on a permanent basis for some years now
Flexible in terms of attendance and punctuality. Students can learn in a relaxed environment with less anxiety and stress of physically attending lessons at college. They are able to learn in their own space, with less distraction, more focus and concentration on learning when they’re at ease and comfortable at home.
Flexibility for staff and students – Both parties are able to talk via Teams outside of their timetables and students can upload work and get instant feedback.Students take their learning in their own hands, making them responsible to learn without pressure and supervision.
Technical hitches - It can be difficult to teach learners with specific needs as 1:1 support during group lessons may be a distraction and sometimes it’s not suitable to teach a large group over 10 learners.
25% of my students live in busy homes (one learner lives in a small studio with 4 adults) and lack of space can be an issue regarding focus and concentration.
Physical supervision (some learners find it difficult to engage in learning without physical supervision) and there can be challenges with organisation and discipline from learners.
Overall though, online teaching has been working for me.