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The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many teachers moving their courses online. EDLAB realizes that this can create obstacles but also exciting new possibilities for both students as well as teaching staff. Therefore, over the past months, EDLAB has initiated various projects, videos and webinars providing tips and tricks as to how to make the most of online education.

Recently for teaching staff, EDLAB’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) team has created a series of four webinars on the topic of online education. These webinars focussed especially on how to design online courses according to UM’s CCCS approach, activate and engage students online, have better online communication, and optimise group dynamics in online tutorials. Each webinar was hosted by an expert on the topic. The four hosts were: Oscar van den Wijngaard, Barend Last, Christina Markanastasakis, and Stefan Jongen.

The webinars took place in the week of 6th to 9th July 2020 and were in collaboration with the UM Library, the Language Centre, and the Faculty of Sciences & Engineering. On average, 60 UM staff members attended each webinar. In total, 119 unique staff participated in the webinars, meaning that many joined more than one session. This is especially wonderful, since the four webinars built on one another. After all, when redesigning courses to fit an online environment, various aspects need to be taken into consideration.

The webinar series received much positive feedback. Participants mentioned that they felt inspired to have fun with their education and to try out new things. Additionally, those present have paid their compliments to the team of speakers for their preparation and organisation of content. From EDLAB’s point of view, the experience was hugely positive. Pleased with such a high rate of participants visiting more than one session, the CPD-team is looking forward to offering more of these sort of opportunities to learn from each other.

Due to the uncertainty of education in the current, global situation, EDLAB’s CPD-team will again be organizing webinars, which will take place at the beginning of next academic year. Are you struggling moving your courses online? Which aspects of teaching in a digital environment do you find challenging? You are very much invited to send your suggestions to EDLAB. They will be taken into consideration for the next activities. Until then, you can watch the older webinars here.

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