Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools nationwide have shut down their operations. This has posed difficulties for the entire education system, which is also problematic for students and parents. However, looking on the bright side, educators have taken this chance to promote their creativity in teaching. Therefore, online classroom not only smoothens learning process but also ensures individual and community safety in the crisis situation. And the School Humanities & Languages (SHL) of Tan Tao University, is fulfilling this task with flying colors.
How did the SHL do?
Since the first days of switching online, SHL have not faced too many difficulties. TTU students have always been equipped with Liberal Arts, so they have always been adaptive. Apart from TTU support, SHL has also proactively explored and proposed feasible solutions to online teaching.
To conduct online teaching, SHL uses Moodle, a learning management system, to post and document learning and teaching materials and activities. On Moodle, a specific and availably ready schedule is also found. This is an easy and effective way for students to plan for their online classes.
According to Nhon Dang, a Fulbrighter, “The features of Zoom interact with Moodle as a learning and teaching management tool that is overwhelmingly beneficial to online pedagogy. Many rapports and positive interactions between instructors and students can happen through the online learning of Zoom. Zoom allows the flexibility of online and offline recorded teaching where students are not physically present at classes, and the tool offers live activities that are fun and highly interactive to almost all levels.”
Indeed, we cannot deny the pros of online classes. According to Jonathan Lankford, one of the SHL lecturers, “Learners can go as quick or as slow as they want. They are not bound to work as the same pace as others studying in the same course. Students know exactly when to start and complete their assignments diligently as all course assignments are recorded logically and chronologically online.”
“For students, they have to be independent to learn, and they have to be self-motivated. If they are not, online learning won’t work for them. For teachers, the obstacle is that students become a name or a number, not a face. So, it’s important that assignments and communication in the online classroom has a face to face element to it whether it’s live or whether it recorded, must have a face to face value to it. Also, since students are not physically present. It’s important to give assignments and tasks that require students to communicate with each other on the online form”, said Mr. Lankford.
Besides the benefits, are there any difficulties?
Online learning has gradually proved to be an indispensable tool in this digital age. This is also a great education for all teachers and lecturers which are always to change and adapt to technology for flexible teaching under any circumstances. Therefore, mastering educational digital teaching tools will definitely boost up the professional career and open up more opportunities.
According to Peter Huynh, an SHL lecturer: “I initially set up Google Classroom with my classes before Zoom went into operation at TTU. At the outset, a lot of work had to be done to make Google Classroom compatible with Zoom, in the end, it was a valuable, worthwhile and enriching experience. Zoom is an excellent teaching tool, great for educators looking to have frequent video chats, teaching, and lecturing to a large diverse audience of learners. Furthermore, Zoom provides an ideal tool to teach live online especially when it’s backed up by a teaching administrative platform for content storage and sharing such as Google Classroom or Moodle.”
Although online teaching is not new, many schools are still confused and reluctant when performing online classes. TTU, however, proves to be familiar with this virtual education. The whole school is also making efforts to optimize its educational activities and support students with its best in this crisis situation. Particularly, SHL sees online learning as an opportunity to help students break through all barriers which open up new horizons!