University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 4638-4645
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1012
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Nowadays, we have all heard about COVID-19, which has changed our lives, both family and professionals’ routines. We were all faced with regulations and decisions that were imposed to us to prevent and control this coronavirus. The education’ area was naturally also subject to changes that came to confront, both teachers and students, in the face of a situation never experienced.

In this work we intend to give our testimony of an experience we faced as teachers of higher education (HE). The experience has taken place in one Curricular Unit (CU) of 1st year students of Communication and Multimedia course in a Portuguese Higher Institution in the North.

The authors are teachers of the CU named “Linear Algebra” and as is a CU of maths area, this change was a big challenge for us, since we were not sure how students would accept this type of distance learning model. We all know the difficulties that most students have with learning maths contents with face-to-face teaching, let alone with distance learning. Also, for us it was a challenge since we never have used any distance teaching model.

The CU belongs to 2nd semester of 1st year course and the semester began on 17 February 2020 and the terminus was initially expected on 5 June but was adjusted to 26 June. Note that until the middle of March we had 4 weeks of face-to-face teaching, with 2 hours of Theoretical and 2 of Practical classes per week. From this period, we received several instructions inserted in a rector's order, where face-to-face teaching was no longer possible, having to move to teaching adapted to the remote mode. We did not go back to face-to-face until the end of the semester and we will describe all changes that we have done.
In the 1st 3 weeks we used only an information system to support teaching, where all necessary theoretical and practical elements including the content to be taught that week were previously and weekly inserted. After Easter break, we used a mixed of this support teaching together with Zoom classes. As contact via Zoom was more immediate and did not require travel and it was possible from students' homes, many of them took the opportunity to clarify doubts with teachers via Zoom. Maybe more often that if we were on presential teaching. Our assessment was changed since we start with remote teaching and we are happy with the scores we have obtained in the end of the exams. As teachers, we also divide our performance into 2 main phases: preparation before and during remote class. In the 1st phase, the contents to be taught were analysed, the resources were elaborated with the selected contents and finally those resources were shared in the system to support teaching. In the 2nd phase, the main topics of the previously shared contents were exposed during the class, with constant teacher/student interaction.

The results obtained confirmed good adaptation that these students had to this kind of teaching they were not used to. Notice that the final evaluation was carried out in person, with some exceptions allowed by the dean. The final scores of these students exceeded our expectations, expressing advantages such as a great enthusiasm in the integration of this remote teaching in HE. In our opinion the platforms that we used were for us a great support to contact weekly the students, a help in solving problems in an effective way and to obtain and understand better the information on the perceptions of the students about this new “education life”.
Covid-19, remote teaching, integration, higher education.