ESHCC lecturer Radhika Mittal submitted her teaching activity ‘Stay human’ after our call to share new online teaching activities that have emerged this year for teachEUR, the platform to get inspired to design more interactive education.
The teaching activity ‘Stay human’ is a very simple and effective way to stay in contact with your students. Radhika is sure there are several lecturers who already use this activity in their lectures.
In March 2020 we had to change to online teaching within an overnight shift. Because Radhika already knew the lecture students, it was easier to stay connected.
'But at the beginning of this academic year, I had new students from all over the world in my tutorials'. They are missing the whole experience of being on campus with other students and of going to classes. They learn in isolation. Bringing a human element to the online class was very important to make the lecture successful. ‘Before ending the lecture, I told the students that I would stay behind at the end for questions or just be there to talk to. We talked about the content of the course, but more importantly we also addressed their wellbeing. How are you? What’s the situation in your country? Do you have concerns you want to talk about? The things that they normally would come to my desk for after a face-to-face class’.
Comfortable and fun
‘There were students from all over the world and different time zones in my class. Once I asked what time it was for the students. For one of the students it was only 4 o’clock in the morning!
We talked about pleasantries, hobbies, how they experienced distance learning, or we did something fun. Having an open attitude and sharing my own stories made the students feel comfortable to share theirs. There was time to have fun and get to know each other better’.
Because of Radhika letting them know she was available, a human on the other side of the screen instead of a robot, she experienced the students were very engaged overall. Sometimes even more than they would be in a face-to-face class! They were participating and less distracted because of the interactive element.
Radhika submitted a second entry for teachEUR: Mini TV Dramas. In this teaching activity you create short TV dramas in your online session by letting students practice role-playing. The role plays by the students show up in squares on the Zoom session and are fun to watch and learn from.
Stay Human will be online at teachEUR from the 1 June on and Mini TV Dramas will be published on 7 June.