Long time no read, right? I have been super busy.. So, I haven’t blogged in ages. But I am here today. I was actually thinking about how I went from face to face teaching to online teaching in a blink of the eye, and how that has changed my teaching……..
So, how has your teaching changed and what did you learn? That is the question of today’s post.
While Covid and lockdown restrictions have not completely gone away, I do think that we can reflect on our teaching and I want us to do this together. Let’s start a tag….Or let’s just share our thoughts.
What skills have you gained from this whole situation?
I, for one, have become better at using my university’s Virtual Learning Environment. Before Covid, I only used it to download materials. Now, I use it to share files and material, upload recordings, give feedback, mark and so many other things! I learnt how to use Collaborate, Zoom, Google Meets, Padlet and more.
Of course, I am not the most tech savvy person, but I am getting savvy-er-ish. Let me point out here that, while I do have a background in online teaching, I never had to do all my teaching online!
I think that because I now have a zillion tabs open when I am teaching or preparing, As I am a module leader now, I often have a couple of Hangout chats open, I am answering an email and creating worksheets. I have become better at multitasking and flipping between tasks. That is not always a good thing though. I have found that due to the vast amount of tabs open, I have often struggled to finish tasks.
Due to the nature of my teaching and because I am also a module leader, my time management has become better. Getting to work takes me three minutes. As I have no one to chat with at work, I go through everything way quicker.
My time management is too good (or bad) sometimes though. What I mean is that because my computer is in my living room, it is quite easy for me to delay lunch, not get up from my seat for ages, not take my eyes off my screen etc. It has also meant that I have found it quite difficult to draw the line and find work-life balance.
If I have something to do, I do it even though it is outside my 9~5 work hour. The fact that the pc is in my living room makes it very easy to go back to work when I am supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself.
I am online twenty four seven. I shut down my pc, but find it hard to shut down my brain and not think about work.
Because I do not have face to face classes, I think that my task instructions and rubrics have improved. I actually spend a lot of my time thinking about how I can give instructions to my international students without being able to point at things or answer any follow up questions about my instructions. That is really important in the material my students have to use asynchronously. My students need to be able to understand what they are doing by just reading the worksheet. In the good old days, they could just ask me a question, now they cannot really. they can email me, but due to the time difference, I may not be able to answer on time.
Making lists or lack of…
I was Little Miss List It. I used to make lists and cross stuff out all the time. During the transfer to online teaching though, my lists became longer. Now lists stress me out. Actually, no, scratch that, long lists stress me out. So, instead of using my favourite To Do note book to write down what I have to do, I scribble stuff down and just cross them out when they are done. That works better for me… especially since my office is my living room.
All teachers know that it is very important to create rapport with your students. One of the hardest things for me was creating rapport with my students (especially when they refuse to turn on their camera). So what did I do, I made a point of having a chat with every student at the beginning of the class and telling them about the things I had been up to. That allowed them to get to know me a bit better and me to get to know them. By the end of the course, we were actually sad to finish the online course.
So how has your teaching changed? Will any of your new skills move with you back into your classroom? Let me know in the comments below. I have a few more posts coming your way, so if you enjoyed this post, please follow my blog.
Till next time……