Best Practices for Supporting Teaching and Learning Online
With online learning now being implemented at the University of Macau, committed teachers are holding classes online with UMMoodle and Zoom. This blog post features some of our colleagues’ tips and best practices. Let’s see what has worked well to support teaching and learning of different disciplines in an online environment.
.Students’ Perceptions of Online Learning Tools: Zoom and Moodle Functions
By Prof. Javier Calero Cuervo (FBA)
To better understand how students perceive the online resources and tools that I have selected for my online courses, I conducted a quick feedback survey. I aimed to find out how students perceived the different online learning tools that I am using and identify tools which were perceived as most effective. It is hoped that by sharing my feedback with the community at UM, more discussion of effective practices can be facilitated.
After I had prepared online course resources and activities and taught for a few weeks, I collected students’ feedback on the online tools I have used in two sections of my course. Students were asked, to rate different online learning tools used in my course, i.e., guided lecture notes with PPT, Zoom pre-recorded lectures, etc.
The surveys (93% response rate) revealed that 79 students from two sections of my course found that guided lecture notes and pre-recorded Zoom lectures were perceived as more effective. Students found PowerPoint slides and pre-recorded lecture were more useful for understanding the course content.
Further exploration of this finding provided more insight into how students were using these resources. After the survey, I asked students to elaborate in a forum why they rated “guided lecture notes with PPT” as most effective to their learning. The typical replies from a few students are presented below:
In my opinion, lecture notes are helpful to us when we are reviewing or preparing for classes. As the guided lecture notes are posted before, we can have a discussion in class, and we can easily get the main points on the slides, and it makes us can catch up the discussion in class easily. Moreover, we can review the PPT with explanation easily through one document. It is more convenient.
It is more flexible when reviewing, doesn’t reply on particular time/platform. And all important notes are more accessible, unlike chatbox/Zoom you have to go back and locate it.
From my perspective, lecture notes are more helpful for students to review. Because lecture notes cover most of the important content (more complete) of a lesson. Compared to live lecture, it is visible and easier to understand…. students can refer to the documents at any time, this is preferable!
From my point of view, reading PPT may not be necessarily the most effective way to learn, but it is the most efficient way to review. Because among the options given in the questionnaire, the online-learning choices (B.C.D) are not conducive to reviewing.
Although my quick survey did not ask students about live Zoom meetings for group assignments, I should mention that this activity was well-received. When I asked groups of students to present in Zoom meetings their group’s presentation, all groups could complete the activity. All sixteen groups (eight groups per section) were able to successfully share their work-in-progress to their classmates. It was a satisfying learning experience for the entire class as we all gained confidence in using Zoom.
I do hope that by sharing my students’ perceptions of online learning tools with the community at UM, we can better understand our students and continue to discuss effective teaching strategies.
Students who would like more information should pay close attention to their courses on UMMoodle. Video tutorials on how to use UMMoodle can be found at an ICTO page, A Distance Learning Quick Start Guide for Students.
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