Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 8198-8204
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1830
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Following the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the subsequent temporary suspension of face-to-face classroom activities, faculty all over the world were invited to engage in distance learning and teaching processes, maintaining educational activities through digital interaction among students and faculty. In this context, faculty needed to adapt the activities and teaching materials to online environments, as well as to define methods and assessment elements and criteria appropriate to these environments. The current educational experiences may greatly contribute to boost more disruptive and innovative teaching and learning practices. Respecting students’ individual learning paces and styles, in formal and informal contexts of a lifelong learning process may allow us to move past the traditional paradigm that places students in the passive role of information receivers. Therefore, this rapid transition to online provision needs to be looked at through the lens of pedagogy, in order to find the opportunities in each challenge.

Concurrently, it is necessary to understand that what has mainly been done was a response to a crisis, in a temporary emergency situation and this is not exactly distance learning, but it represents what has been addressed in literature as “Emergency Remote Teaching”.

The current paper intends to identify and analyse the challenges that both students and faculty have experienced during the process of moving online and that need to be turned into opportunities, in order to avoid replicating traditional teaching in an online environment. They are numerous and at several different levels. On one hand, students have experienced challenges such as time management, support and follow-up, communication and motivation, among others. On their turn, faculty have had difficulties in adapting the resources and, consequently, in mastering the necessary tools and skills, as well as the most suitable pedagogical strategies. On the other hand, assessment may represent a challenge on its own, both for students and faculty. By looking at the example of a Curricular unit of Foreign Languages applied to Tourism, the paper also aims to point out that the main opportunity lies in planning online teaching and learning activities as a conversational process between three axes: learning goals, learning strategies and assessment.
Foreign languages, tourism, emergency remote teaching, authentic learning, higher education.