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Call for colleagues

by Bert Le Bruyn (GW, TLC)

The situation we are now in is fairly exceptional in the sense that universities in the Netherlands have imposed their staff to start teaching online with no real transition period. A similar situation occurred when Hurricane Katrina hit the southern states in the US and online teaching became the only option to reach students. Regretfully, documentation of what happened back then is scarce. I understand that time and resources are limited in crises like these and that health and family come first. I do hope that there are some colleagues who still have some time and energy left to help me document what is happening to us right now.

The university is of course monitoring things with a bird’s-eye-view but it would be good for individual teachers like us to team up,  set up small communities and work together towards in-depth case-studies with rich data. To do so, I’m hoping to find colleagues – preferably those who are teaching in block 4 and taught the same course(s) offline last year.

What I would like to do in collaboration with these colleagues is the following:

  • To keep track of our own views on online teaching;
  • To develop questionnaires to be distributed among participants of the courses we’re teaching;
  • To record and analyse our online lectures.

Relevant themes are:

  • Time investment;
  • Student/Teacher expectations/worries before block 4;
  • Student/Teacher perceptions mid-way and at the end of the block;
  • Teacher/Student practices;
  • Interaction in our online lectures;
  • Perceived relevance of the availability of recoreded lectures;
  • Comparison between the evaluation of the course last year and this year;

I’m fully aware of the fact that all this requires an extra time investment and that we’re already stretched thin. That’s why I would like to stress that this enterprise could also bring some perks. I mention three. The first is that we would get a good view on how our students are doing, allowing us to find ways to motivate them for our classes and help them through these hectic times (perhaps we’re not essential but we can definitely contribute a great deal). Second, we could help each other finding solutions for problems we encounter and we could spread the word among our colleagues. Third, it will give us the right type of information/ammunition for future debates on online teaching.

If you want to join in, please contact me @ b.s.w.lebruyn@uu.nl.

Thanks a lot!



P.S. You can follow updates about this collaborative project here.

Bert Le Bruyn
3 April 2020

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