Saturday, March 21, 2020

Challenges during Coronavirus / COVID-19 [University Lecturer Perspective]

Night lovelies. 

With a new virus outbreak (COVID-19) going on, most of the Malaysian universities have their class postpone around 2 weeks. My university started its first week of the semester without any postpone, but after 3 days, the management decided to postpone the classes for 10 days. After one month since the beginning of the semester, there is a partial lockdown which brings 2 weeks mid-semester break. Sigh...

There are a few challenges during this Covid-19 which is not in my imagination will happen during my teaching years:

The lecturers are clueless and panic.

My other colleagues and I are panic and worried when we teach in our classes. I'm teaching about 130 students in a big lecture room. And why we were worried? Since there were so many students, it's hard for us to check if all of our students were suitable for attending the class. We were also clueless with sudden changes in our teaching schedule due to sudden changes from the upper management. 

Wearing masks are suffocating. 

As a lecturer, I need to clarify that wearing a mask while talking in class really does suffocate me as. Plus, I'm wearing a glass, all fogged up.

Online class?

Working from after the announcement of partial lockdown by Malaysian government really does add a new task for me: learning new software. I bought many tools, such as Wacom and Camtasia. I intended to do only pre-recorded videos and upload it in YouTube channel due to unavailability of my students going online during this lockdown.

Not all class can be done through an online course.

Since I'm teaching entrepreneurship, its a practice-based class. Due to this pandemic, I need to cancel many entrepreneurship activities like a bazaar, business pitching and talks. I believe some other class, such as math class that involve calculations will be tough to do it online.

May this pandemic end soon. It's hard for me as an academician to plan ahead when this pandemic results in many unpredictable changes in the academic calendar. Academician should do a lot of planning when it comes to their teaching activities.

Dr. Fatin.

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