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COVID Diaries: Dr Rounaq Nayak's remote teaching experience

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3 April 2020

Across the country, millions of people are working in different ways following the Prime Minister’s request to only leave home for a limited number of reasons in a bid to reduce the number of cases and deaths in the current coronavirus crisis.

In response to the current situation, teaching for Harper Adams University students has moved online with lecturers now discovering which methods work best for them. Dr Rounaq Nayak, Lecturer in Food Policy, has shared his experience with us.

I have completed uploading virtual content for an MSc module on Food Policy and Ethics which was due to be delivered this week. Being in my first year at Harper Adams, this sudden requirement to make everything virtual, given these unprecedented times, was quite a challenge; not only did I have to design the lecture content from scratch, but also had to make it all virtual last minute. I have done this by recording my lectures on PowerPoint.

A large element of the dissemination also involved workshops for students. I have designed these workshop activities using Sli.Do, an online Q & A and polling platform. The workshops now contain poll questions, word clouds which will be developed based on students’ responses, and ‘audience Q & A’ sessions where I have asked students to answer certain questions. This has made the module more interactive as I (as well as the students) will be able to see their answers in real-time. They also have the option to answer anonymously should they choose to.

The lectures unfortunately could not be livestreamed due to the sudden increase in workload for students, including at their workplaces too, as well as the challenges I’ve faced. I have sent out a poll asking students for their availability so that I can meet with them virtually to answer their questions and I’ll also be available on Microsoft Teams for the majority of the working day.

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