As the year has progressed the world as we know it is now changing in ways that were unbelievable at the beginning of 2020. Humans have shown solidarity against a pandemic that threatens to destroy our way of living. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) shook the world. Over a month ago, Studio 05 Institute of Fashion moved its entire academic programme to online platforms as a result of the COVID-19 disruptions worldwide. A few students expressed the pros and cons of learning remotely during the nation-wide lockdown. While students embraced the online delivery of the academic programme, there were a handful of those who experienced connectivity problems within different parts of the urban and rural areas locally.
This new venture into online learning is trying to balance students' data with providing quality education. The Head of Education was online during lecture sessions and gauging attendance and students' participating in the classroom activities and assessment. We noticed that students who would not normally raise their hand in class to ask a question or answer a question, are now encouraged to also have an opinion. Quick observation has allowed us to note that online teaching is encouraging students to collaborate with each other and support one another.
The first week, when we began with online teaching, was the most difficult for lecturers and students. All that Studio 05 wanted was to see students and staff getting the satisfaction that they are learning and teaching. The first week did not go so well as most of the students could not connect and they had other challenges. Lecturers were somehow anxious in the first two lectures they had. Technical support assisted them on how to get our students involved and participate online, even if it was not physical and in person. This really helped and things have moved from being frustrating to now embracing this "new normal" and striving to do more and adapt quicker.
It is difficult to accept that it took the COVID-19 pandemic for us to start pursuing online teaching and learning. We have been presented with so many opportunities in the past to conduct online teaching, but we were slow to change. There are many negative perceptions and different opinions about online teaching, but the facts have proven many wrong. Students are from different geographic locations and demographics. To be granted the opportunity to experience high-class attendance and increased students' participation in online lectures is such an inspiring story to tell. The students are eager for education and they are doing their best to ensure that this academic year is not wasted. With all the online activities that make it compulsory for students to participate in online classes, by sharing and discussing what they have learned on the online platforms, Studio 05 foresees improved skills and upgraded confidence. This is the new normal and it may be for some time.
For more information:
Tel: 011 339 1560
Studio 05 Communications intern