By Gennady Egorov,
Director of Institute of Distance Learning, St.Tikhon’s University, Moscow
I have always liked the way my Irish colleagues approach education development and teacher support. I also have a special relationship with DCU, so when #OpenTeach was announced I decided to join, especially since I expected to have some free time.
When the project started, there was no free time at all. But it was impossible to refuse, because I was busy doing the same thing as colleagues – helping faculty move to online.
I liked the course itself because of the carefully thought-out modules. I like to use cases in my own work with faculty. It allows to immediately update both the existing experience and the proposed theoretical material. The final task was also very helpful, I was just developing a new activity for my adult students, the description of which I uploaded.
It was rather inconvenient to navigate inside the course, which surprised me, as Moodle usually has no problem with it. It was also odd that the task tracking panel was not set up. However, on the first run of the course there are sometimes some very unexpected problems.
The main difficulty for me was the lack of time. I wanted to interact with my colleagues, but the desire to read as many interesting and useful posts as possible did not leave me much time and energy to write something in return. However, everyone was in approximately equal position, so no one paid attention to the inactive participant 😊.
Live sessions were interesting. I usually use BBB, Zoom is a new tool for me. The first one was in the late hour. Tiredness and fighting with beautiful, but Irish pronunciation turned me into a ballast. It’s a good thing there was an opportunity to watch the record later. I was able to connect to the second live session during the day, so it was much easier.
At the end of the course, having completed all the tasks, I decided to join the role-playing game. I am not a fan, but it was impossible to miss something. In my opinion, role-playing is not a substitute for an individual task, but it complements it well. And I was very lucky that the role of an observer was included, because I didn’t understand the game participants equally well. Even so, I was happy to observe their dialogue. But three reviews of the recording helped me to clear up and do my part of the job.
In conclusion, I want to say a word of admiration for the team. 450 people is an enormous workload. But you held on, gave feedback and tried to support all the students. You passed this exam very well, not everyone can do that.