Skills Based Learning Online, Advice from ICHAS Lecturer Roisin Taaffe
For many students, this will be the first time that they will be doing the majority of their classes online. It can be a challenge especially when it comes to skills-based learning. ICHAS Lecturer Roisin Taaffe recently discussed some of the benefits of this approach and she also gave tips for students to make the most of their virtual class time.
Skill Based Learning, Lessons From The Last Few Weeks
One of the benefits of skills-based learning online with Zoom, especially with breakout rooms is there is more privacy. Before classes would have had to get into groups and practice their skills in a class setting. There could be 20 odd people in a room so learners could get distracted being in all different parts of the room, it could also be kind of noisy. For a lecturer, there was also a challenge of getting around to everybody in groups of this size.
With Zoom you practice your skills in a private breakout room. You don’t get distracted in any way and the lecturer can also enter the room at the click of a button, watch that session, and comment on it. People get their feedback in a private setting as well.
Skills-based online has been a pleasant surprise. When people come back to the main room in Zoom they have to do a role-play to everyone in the class. By pinning their video so everyone else can see this has worked really well and students have seemed happy with it as well.
Another thing with Zoom is that when you have people physically in the class it can be hard to watch everybody. With Zoom, you can see everyone and can for example take a break if you see someone is wilting. This isn’t as easy to see in a physical setting.
Another good function is that everyone’s name is there. With big groups, in particular, this can be really useful, you can call on people and get them involved from the very beginning. I find it easier to get students to talk on Zoom than in a physical setting, they don’t seem to be as nervous. You also get to know them that bit quicker as well.
What Advice do you have For Students?
- Make sure your WiFi is ok – This can ensure you make max use of your class time and don’t miss out on anything. If you need to measure your WiFi check out this useful tool.
- Get involved in the discussions – Treat it like you’re in a physical class and get involved with the in-class discussion
- Have your camera on – For skills-based this a requirement but it is also very useful especially if you’re in first year or in a new group
Join the class a little bit earlier – Logon a little bit earlier and just have a chat. The social aspect is definitely something that’s missing so this can help bridge that gap.
Mute your microphone at break time!!
Also, remember if you’re new to Zoom fear not, it’s super user friendly and requires you just to download zoom and then just click on the link. There are new functions being added by Zoom on a regular basis as well so it’s constantly improving and updating.