Teaching and learning online is now the order of the day across different schools and faculties in the University. Lecturers and students alike are all in this together, working hand in hand to make the best out of these new times we find ourselves in. Notable was that all the online sessions scheduled for diploma courses have been conducted successfully. Schools held full faculty meetings (all online) during which lecturers were briefed on the coming semester. Additionally, schools conducted in-house training for their faculty and administrators in readiness for the April semester. Lecturers have continued to get online assistance from the Centre for Teaching Excellence.
Life is a continuous learning experience and everyday presents an opportunity to learn something new. One such opportunity is that experienced by Caleb Kandagor, a lecturer in Ethics. Below is his candid online teaching and learning experience.
When I heard that I’ll have to teach online, I felt scared, in denial and uncertain. Initial training was on Skype. Frankly I didn’t like it; it seemed complicated for a fellow with rudimentary IT skills. I didn’t attend training on Zoom but a colleague trained me. It felt like a much safer option than the compact online training. For BBB – I self taught and am now adept in using it. A suggestion is to pair lecturers to train each other or have those already well versed with the tools offer others assistance.
When I finally got online and started teaching: disaster, panic and heavy breathing. I forgot to mute their mics and even forgot how to share my screen. Luckily I informed them on WhatsApp that I had technical challenges; I then called a colleague who bailed me out. We resumed class after 20mins.
The students laughed and commented, ‘this guy is new on this platform’. They’d been having online classes for two days prior to my class. Well, I admitted that I was new to this and was learning on the job. By the end of the class they were happy.
Something interesting that happened. Students reprimanding their classmates and asked that they be disciplined – those who were showing their videos or playing music while mics were on. We had great discussions on chat. Most preferred that to talking. I am enjoying the fact that students can participate in class discussions especially on chat. I want to master various ways of making online learning enjoyable and worth attending.
#stayhome #keepsafe #keeplearning #weareinthistogether