My Online Uni Experience – OurWarwick

My Online Uni Experience

So all of my teaching is online for the time being. I had a few classes in person last term, which was nice, but otherwise, all of my classes take place on Microsoft Teams. There are good and bad things about this, with the biggest benefit being that we’re less likely to transmit a dangerous disease.

Some people love online teaching and some hate it. It’s a matter of circumstance. I fall somewhere in the middle; it’ll be this way until things are safe again, so I just have to make the most of it.

So what are the good things about online teaching?

Discussion: For the most part, the English Literature degree suits the online teaching format relatively well. Any hand-outs or supplementary material needed can be posted in the Teams folder, while in-class discussions are carried out with relative normality. Of course, the ability to interject in conversations and debates is hampered by lag and sound issues, so instead discussion takes on a more methodological approach, which can include putting up your virtual hand to signal that you want to speak. Most people have experienced some form of group video call by this point, and online classes are not that different.

Lectures: Many modules now pre-record lectures, since we can’t all sit in a big lecture hall together. Some are still delivered live over video, but all of mine have been available to access anytime. This is really helpful as I can pause and rewind to take notes, whereas if it was in-person I would often lose track of some points. I can also watch them whenever I want, so I can tailor my schedule to suit me.   

No commute: I have saved so much time each day simply because I don’t have to waste time sitting on a bus or waiting around between classes on campus. Now I can have a lie-in and get up ten minutes before my class without having to worry about my outfit, packing my bag or putting on make-up. There are downsides to this though. I’m getting less exercise because I’m not leaving the house to walk to places, and I’m losing out on the social aspect of bumping into friends on my travels. Plus I miss dressing up in something other than joggers.

So what are the bad things?

The obvious: I think most of us can identify the downsides of online teaching: The lack of social interaction mainly. But that’s a universal problem brought about by the restrictions we’re living under. Yet there are still many opportunities to interact with people during all this. A lot of societies are still active and are offering online events and socials. There are also other funny moments during class, such as when your professor is getting coffee before class and while waiting, you and your classmates talk about how much you love banana bread.

Overall, I am fortune that my degree has transitioned well into an online format and I don’t feel that the quality of teaching has dropped as a result. Professors have made great efforts to adjust, and that my classes can go ahead with some level of normality has made this current lockdown slightly more bearable than the first one, simply because I have something to do every day.

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