Lecturers share positive experiences and are optimistic for the upcoming winter semester

14.08.2020, from Brigitte Heintz-Cuscianna and Bettina Sigg

At the end of the summer semester 2020, we asked our lecturers in the language courses and the Extracurricular Studies, in addition to the university-wide quantitative evaluation, how they experienced this special semester. The feedback shows that - after some uncertainties in dealing with the technology at the beginning of the semester - the teachers were able to make increasingly positive experiences during their courses, for example with interactive tools, which they would like to keep in any case even when returning to the old normality:

"... inches to pick up a few ideas. It's a great tool, interactive. We used these word clouds to pick up a mood and organize thoughts." "[...] Moodle classes. I'm never going to the copier again." "I would continue to use collaborative writing. Mentimeter, kahoot and lyric training are good for face-to-face teaching. "I will continue to use Moodle. I find Moodle very practical."

According to the teachers interviewed, the majority of the students had less trouble with the tools than expected:

"On the positive side, the students had no problems with the various apps and tools." "I also found it nice to get feedback from the students that they are fit in all tools and they more or less don't care how you connect."

All in all, the teachers attest that the past semester has been very laborious with regard to the conversion of classroom teaching to digital formats. In addition, the teachers remembered the difficult communication with the student groups, both in synchronous and asynchronous formats: "[...] communication with the students is already more complex. There was a lot of e-mail traffic."

At this point we would like to praise once again the efforts of our teachers in further education and their willingness to experiment in the field of foreign languages and in the study integral!

"I think it's good if you have to learn something new, that's the challenge, otherwise the work would be routine."

Lecturer in the Centre of Teaching and Learning Anonymous (qualitative survey)

All interviewees agree that personal contact cannot be replaced by online meetings, phone calls or e-mails. Despite the challenges described and the new experiences, the cooperation and openness regarding the next  semester are given.

"The Corona Semester. Yes, how shall one say, first nerve-racking at the beginning, then it was really relaxed on Mondays at 8 am. I would say that we probably all learned a lot this semester. But also a lot we missed. Also the contact somehow, the personal contact to the colleagues was missing, even if you could contact them by e-mail and by phone and facetime. It was just missing."

"I just want to mention again that the switch to digital was a challenge, but you felt well supported. You can praise that. I think most likely it will continue like this next semester, but I am confident that it will work out well.

"It's a new situation for everyone, but everyone had to participate. I think everyone pulled together. You can do it again."