Teaching and Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Fear was the greatest serving in the minds of most of the lecturers when the nation went into lockdown since 18 March 2020. We had never seen or experienced something as different and unique in many of our lives as educators. This was a change as to how we will view teaching and learning in just a glimpse.
Online teaching was the new norm that most of us had to adapt quickly to fit into the new teaching norm. The experience was good, bad and ugly (well you were hoping I said that). The experience ranged from exciting like candy in a child’s hand to fear of the unknown. Since the lockdown the platform of our delivery was on eLearn and many had been using Microsoft Teams and so we had a mixture of delivery platforms which catered to the ability of the individual lecturers. Some were comfortable on certain platforms and while others thrived and explored new platforms. Like the saying “Rome was not built in a day” and so we worked on polishing our teaching and learning experiences every day. We embarked on new adventurous and treacherous journey in providing the best learning experience for our students. We enjoyed this new-found platform and everyday was a wall broken down. The circle of unending resources and support from both the ITS and the department’s teaching and learning made this adventurous journey worth the while. In believing and having faith, fear was not an invited guest to our class. As we continue to grow and flourish in the unknown vast land, we now see the fruits of our labour.
By: Diana Gail Maurice John
A new experience
I am finding out that teaching from the comfort of our respective homes via e-learning during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period can be a unique experience. Most of the time, I use Microsoft Teams for my online classes and it is an excellent platform for interactive lectures and live online discussions with my students. Microsoft Teams also allows both the lecturer and students to record the teaching and learning sessions, which will be very useful for students to review the lectures at their own pace and for revision at a later time.
The challenge is in terms of getting the majority of the students to respond during the online classes. Sometimes the same students are the ones who responds. Therefore, to control this, I will conduct activities by using Quizizz, Kahoot and Padlet to make them be more responsive. However, I am happy that students who are normally quiet in class will ask questions online and this is good. With recorded videos, students can repeat, fast forward or even slow down the tutorials to suit them without interrupting others.
The unprecedented MCO has left lecturers with no choice but to bring the classes and paperwork online. Due to the short notice, it is very challenging for lecturers who are teaching online for the first time. We need to make an adjustment to our schedule and allocate time to do online classes. I am looking forward to incorporating the online teaching experience into my conventional classroom in the near future.
By: Nurul Aini Khatijah Yusof
LEARNING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The rapidly growing COVID-19 outbreak has led to the closure of academic institutions and the disruption of on-campus classroom activities. With the Movement Control Order (MCO) being enforced since 18 March 2020, it is time for the educators and students to dive into the world of e-learning. There are many resources available online, ranging from free courses to project based activities for the students to explore more. It is true that studying online requires more self-motivation and time management, because you will spend a lot of time on your own without someone being physically close to keep you focused.
Being students, staying at home has saved us a lot compared to the past where we do not have to board the public transport to get to campus or not have to spend money on gas for your car. At the same time, we would not have to get up early to get dressed for class and the list of conveniences goes on. Studying online has given us more flexibility. We do not have to log in at a specific time for a live session, but we can study and interact with our instructors and fellow friends. Due to MCO, lecturers have the opportunity to fully focus on trying out different teaching tools and manage their teaching materials as well as the assessments to suit the new teaching approach. Forget about attending classes for hours, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and suffering back pain by the end of the day, students tend to not be bound to physical class sessions when they opt for online education. You can easily get access to the materials provided by lecturers via online platforms and study comfortably from home.
On the good side, it minimises the negative impact on the environment which emanates from transportation and manufacturing. The infrastructure and the materials required in the traditional education establishment such as the use of electricity has reduced during this critical period. Not only that, various academic institutions can save both time and money when they implement and expand their online learning platforms. Every student is required to participate in virtual study sessions to make them fun and interesting. We have our discussions via discussion board, chats and the Q&A sessions guided by our lecturers. Furthermore, we also completed our group assignment video presentation through Microsoft Teams for every subject. The expensive nature of Internet and the accessibility of technology have generated a surge in the demand for web-based teaching and learning.
To wrap up, I can conclude that online learning has brought a positive impact in the lives of students and working professionals. The quality of education has improved and it has become easier for students to refer to the content from time to time. In this era of digitalisation, the scope of online education has increased even more and will be beneficial for students, professionals and the institutions as well. Let us cherish this moment in maintaining a good mentality by learning everyday even if we are facing difficulties in life by staying positive always.
By: Siew Yee
(DBA Sem 5)
My name is Sattiyawathy Boobalan and I am pursuing my Diploma in Business Administration at Sunway College Kuala Lumpur. Due to COVID-19, our learning environment has changed. Currently, we are studying and communicating through online platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and eLearn. Overall, this is a new experience for all of us.
As a student, I am enjoying these new learning methods as online learning is flexible and adaptable. I can join online classes on time because I do not have to go to different floors for different classes. Moreover, I do not even have to rush to classes due to traffic jam. On the other hand, our beloved lecturers are still allocating consultation hours through online calls and utilising the last five minutes of classes for a Q&A session with students. Besides, we still have class discussions via online calls and the whole class is able to participate without any interruption. I can confidently say that online studying has not affected either my understanding of the subject or my exam results. The learning environment might have changed, but the learning method is still the same whether it is online or physical class.
By: Sattiiyawathy Boopalan
(DBA Sem 5)