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Teaching remotely

Baba Adou

For me, the main challenge was adapting a course that was meant to be delivered face to face, in a physical classroom, to fit a virtual environment. This meant skipping some exercises and activities, adapting others, and bringing in new ones. Another challenge was poor internet connectivity. Not only did this rule out the possibility of using features like video conferences and voice calls, but it also affected the timing and length of the class. I had to change the timing and the manner in which the class was to be delivered. I had to basically leave the class open the whole day instead of an hour and a half, giving the opportunity for students to ask questions and do exercises anytime during the day. It is true that this required more effort on the part of the teacher and led to less teacher-student interaction. However, in an exceptional environment like the one we operated in, this was the only way I could deliver the class while thinking of those disadvantaged students who lacked good internet connectivity and tools.

Blair McEwen

My experience with online teaching at the Higher Institute of English due to the COVID-19 pandemic has produced positive feelings. The first thing is that I was very impressed at the speed at which both teachers and students adapted to the online teaching idea. New skills were definitely gained by all and most learning outcomes were successfully achieved. However, the most important thing was the responsibility that students took for their own learning. They took ownership of their work and produced more than they would have done in a face to face environment. My experience with online teaching at the Higher Institute of English due to the COVID-19 pandemic has produced positive feelings. The first thing is that I was very impressed at the speed at which both teachers and students adapted to the online teaching idea. New skills were definitely gained by all and most learning outcomes were successfully achieved. However, the most important thing was the responsibility that students took for their own learning. They took ownership of their work and produced more than they would have done in a face to face environment.

 

Rona Mackenzie

Remote working presented lots of challenges, but there were also many positives to come out of it. Managing wifi connectivity was an issue a lot of the time, but the students remained patient and found ways to adapt to the new teaching methods. Time management was made easier for both teachers and students. Nobody had to commute to work, freeing up a few hours in the day for most people. Specific lessons such as phonology changed completely when carried out remotely. On the one hand, the lessons were trickier because we couldn’t see each others’ faces, which I would normally consider a vital aspect of a phonology lesson. One the other hand, students were able to work at their own pace and really study the materials, without the distraction of having others talking around them. On the whole, remote working was a positive experience. I believe both teachers and students alike  developed skills, such as adaptability and critical thinking, that we wouldn’t necessarily have thought about while working on site.