Classroom spotlight: Senior Sciences:
With the outbreak of novel coronavirus and the unprecedented nationwide lockdown, the DP Sciences Department at MIS needed to demonstrate quick adaptation and agility to overcome the crisis in order to properly cover the curricula and preserve our high standards of teaching and learning. As such, the Department committed to deliver the curriculum to the students utilizing online Virtual Learning platforms, which enable us to interact with students through simulations and video tutorials.
Teaching and learning takes an alternative, albeit challenging, route which compels both the teacher and the taught to become “techno-savvy”. Online tools that were previously in existence, but which were never part of our programme, were quickly co-opted and put into place as important instructional vehicles, where they will remain for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 pushed the conventional “chalk-and-talk” method aside, and allowed new and better online pedagogies to come to the forefront.
Apps like Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube which were previously used primarily in our smartphones for entertainment purposes are now among the most trustworthy platforms for online collaboration, allowing us to learn and share ideas across the globe. Further exploration led us to Zoom, Teams and Gtalk for make virtual connections. Tools like Whiteboard, Canva, Paint 3D, Perusall, Prism, and Screencast-o-Matic further strengthened teaching and learning and has made the students and teachers both more responsible, more enthusiastic and more engaging.
As far as assessments go, Exam.net proved to have robust features which not only securely guarded the Question Papers but also gave us the ability to randomly generate exam questions, and assisted students and teachers in a variety of other ways ensuring security and fair evaluation.
Of course, we all miss the face-to-face interaction with our wonderful students and are looking forward to their return to campus. In the meantime, however, we have successfully turned this crisis into an educational opportunity. Soon, we hope, the Science Department will once again see the labs filled with cheerful students who are well-versed in online learning skills who are also able to apply these to real hands-on practice in the science labs.