One of the many creative responsibilities of the OLTCs is to scrape the surface of a problem and to workshop the best fix for the issue at hand. In doing so, we come across many tips, hacks, creative ideas, and some harsh realities in order to better the learning environment for students and the teaching environment for professors. In my time as OLTC; in deliberation with the professors I work with and the team of students I work alongside of, I have compiled a list of things that I know as an OLTC that I wouldn’t know otherwise. I would love to share that with the students starting or continuing their studies in a radically different environment this fall.
Moodle is going to be a student’s best friend in this transition to online learning. In its new and immensely updated version, there are many tools to keep us students engaged. These tools, in an in-person learning environment, would be sloughed off as tools requiring more time and effort than we could allocate for but that isn't the case online.
Even at a student-centered institution like Bishop’s, the things we pride ourselves on like ease of student-prof communication won't go away. This semester there will be more opportunities to engage with profs in an academic setting, not less. The methods for said communication channels may change, but the BU spirit remains the same. In Albus Dumbledore's terms, “help will always be given at Bishop’s to those who ask for it”.
Face-to-face learning will indisputably have to be replaced with online learning, at least for this Fall and Winter semester. This means that it will help student morale to welcome this transition to online learning as opposed to settling for it as a next-best alternative. For students, this means delving into every technology, tool, and online resource to enrich their studying experience. It is important to keep reminding ourselves that the reality of Covid19 cannot change, what can change is our approach in dealing with the issues that have and continue to arise from it.
Lastly, Bishop’s has been proactively working with students in newly established programs, such as the OLTCs, to gather student input on ways to make online learning better for all students by sharing their experiences and creative input. As such, students coming into the Fall semester can be assured that their voice, by virtue of OLTCs, is being heard.