ARE WE READY FOR A CHRONIC CRISIS? REFLECTIONS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING DURING CONFINEMENT
Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The lock down period started last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic was a big challenge for students and teachers. Technology made easier the continuation of the teaching and it also allowed teachers to keep the contact with colleagues and also with students. New teaching and evaluation methodologies and new coordination and cooperation systems had to be quickly implemented. Our previous experience in flipped teaching, active methodologies and validation of online exams, helped us to tackle the transition from face-to-face to fully online teaching. The experience was satisfactory for the theory classes, but with some problems in the laboratory classes have emerged. After that, right now, some extra work is needed to overcome these difficulties considering that maybe the situation would become chronic. Once that we got over the shock of the first moment, the question is whether the resilience mechanisms will remain, and if the hybrid teaching (face-to-face & online) can replace effectively face-to-face teaching for a long time.
In this work we present a comparison between the previous and the new situation of the academic results and students’ opinion. The analysis has been performed at the School of Design Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de València, in different courses of physics of several engineering degrees (all of them, first academic year courses).
One example of good practice during confinement was the weekly coordination meetings between teachers of the same course and between teachers of physics courses in different degrees. Another one was the online exams, taking advantage of the automatic correction tests, and including images of the documents written by the students for later review.
The academic results were comparable to those of a normal course and student and teachers surveys were conducted to know their opinion. The good performance during this new situation was due to the collaboration, patience, understanding and trust of the students and teachers that was created in those moments of crisis.
Students' opinion about the online teaching during their lock down was positive. This work shows this students' opinion about different models of hybrid teaching used for classes during the "new normality", from completely online to hybrid. At the same time, the students' opinion on the laboratory practices was measured in three scenarios: from completely online teaching to face-to-face & streaming, and face-to-face (students taking turns to attend the lab sessions).
Finally, this work also shows the opinion of the involved teachers on the additional workload and on the capacity for cooperation and communication between them, during the lock down period and the subsequent year.
After gathering the opinion of teachers and students, we can conclude that the situation of the pandemic has been addressed with reasonable success. Performance of students is not affected, the theoretical classes have been developed normally, while the practical classes seem to need some changes to be adapted to the new situation as far as possible. Given that this situation persists, it is useful to carry out this type of study to be able to adapt teaching to future circumstances.
Keywords: COVID-19, distance learning, laboratory classes, academic results, students opinion.