Saturday, February 20, 2021

Experiences in remote learning

Last semester was my first experience in remote teaching. Class preparation was quite different compared to when there was no COVID-19. I described the technical aspects of my preparation in a previous post

The semester started well and everyone is excited and hopeful. The course staff was able to release the revised course guide, videos, and other materials early in the semester. Communication with students was done using Slack and Zoom. Exercise submission was accomplished using GitHub and Google Classroom. Video materials were uploaded to YouTube. (You can check out my playlists).

Things got problematic in the middle of the semester. Typhoons started coming, internet connectivity became unstable, and personal problems arise. It was hard for us and the students to focus and hold synchronous sessions. 

We originally planned to give synchronous exams via Google Forms. Unfortunately, some students were badly affected by the typhoons so we decided to remove the lecture exam requirement. We gave the weight to the laboratory exercises which became the basis of the grades. We also relaxed the due dates of the submission of laboratory exercises so that students will still be able to submit at a later date. Interestingly, the administration released a "no fail" policy.

I am happy that most of the students were able to submit their exercises and get high grades. However, it is quite hard to assess whether they really learned from the courses and they did their tasks with integrity.