It seems that for the next semester or two we will all be facing a different approach to teaching and learning. I have years of experience teaching online in different capacities and at different schools but my Camosun teaching has always been F2F – in the classroom. I am happiest in such a learning environment. My years of study and practice with online provided me with a wonderful foundation for how best to engage with my students in the classroom and offer my students a learning experience that allowed them to grow and flourish.
We will all soon find out what is needed to be successful in our new virtual teaching and learning spaces. Will it be seamless and as you remember from your prior F2F experiences? Probably not. But that is not the point. A lot of work has gone into the creation of new learning environments and new approaches and I trust that everyone with have patience and understanding as we transition to this different approach.
As a student, your focus and commitment to your education should be no different whether you are in the F2F classroom or in our new virtual classroom. This virtual learning world will take some adjustment to the time you spend reading and engaging with the various materials and activities online. This will not be an environment of “sit down and take notes”, rather it will be sit down and read and become engaged with the online materials and others in your online class. Then consider what types of notes you will take based upon your direct engagement with the various resources made available to you.
Learn to figure things out on your own. Learn to navigate around your different online learning spaces: not all of your classes will present resources and materials in the same way. Become as independent as you possibly can, but at the same time, find learning friends or online buddies to talk to and share experiences with. There is no one clear and direct approach, there will be new and innovative approaches that you may be exposed to – engage, share, and have some fun.
None of my online classes will have lectures – I believe that any form of online lecture is not the best way forward. I will, however have weekly synchronous sessions (live and recorded) for my students to come and ask questions and seek assistance. My courses are designed to allow you to work your way through the material, do problems and exercises, and learn the material through a variety of different approaches. There will not be lectures but at every step there will be opportunities to challenge yourself and be supported in the process.
I believe that UBC’s motto says it best; Tuum Est