Classrooms in Flux:Teaching researcher skills in the Zoom era
Large research universities can be slow-moving beasts when it comes to change. Within the library, we have wanted to develop an online version of our Doctoral Skills Programme, but a tendency towards detailed planning and perfectionism has meant little progress. This changed for the University of Auckland with the New Zealand level 4 lockdown Covid-19 response.
Methods or Actions
We were fast and adaptive in our approach, creating minimum viable products for most offerings within 1-2 weeks. All our workshops were interactive and utilised various online tools, but delivery style was varied to suit workshop content rather than applying a one-size-fits-all template. We continually refined our sessions following student feedback and our own observations, which helped foster participant engagement and connectivity.
Overall workshop attendance was higher than our face-to-face trainings and our audience extended to include those students based at satellite campuses and distance learners. Students eagerly engaged with us and each other and feedback was excellent. Tools that allowed anonymous questions and contribution were really well received and are now used in our face-to-face sessions.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic we were forced to rid ourselves of our slow-moving ways and rapidly adapt to presenting workshops online. The result has transformed the way we continue to deliver workshops and has prepared us for future remote teaching. Subsequent work includes development of asynchronous resources, finding the correct mix of workshop mediums, and maintaining our agile style of development and implementation in a non-crisis environment.