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Teaching in times of Covid

Teaching in times of Covid

  • Date23 June 2021

While our students are making the most of the opportunities that Summer brings (for example, through an industrial placement or even just a well-earned break), in the Maths Department we are gearing up for the next academic year - working to ensure our students have a great experience whatever social distancing guidelines may still be in place.


Prof Iain Moffatt

In the Maths Department, throughout this academic year we have been teaching using a Flexible Education model.  Through this we have been able to offer equivalent experiences to all our undergraduates, regardless of if they were able come to a lecture hall on campus or if they were joining us electronically from overseas. In our groupwork sessions we used “online whiteboards” so that students could chat and collaborate even when they weren’t able to physically be in the same room. All of our lectures were live-streamed through Microsoft Teams and we made great use of its chat function to interact with our off-campus students during them. We made extensive use of our online content system “moodle” to support learning. For example, using pre-recorded videos and short quizzes to keep up engagement and help everyone stay on track. All this was enhanced by live-streamed interactive Q&A sessions for each class.  
Our students responded positively to our teaching format. Throughout the year we consulted with our students to make sure everything was working at its very best, and we made tweaks as needed in response to their comments and suggestions. We are proud of our students and colleagues — everyone brought their best to the difficult worldwide COVID situation.  
In the Mathematics Department we are preparing for the next academic year which begins in September. We are reflecting on what worked well, what was effective, and what students liked. We’ll be taking forward and the very best of our Flexible Education model. We will continue using online videos and online quizzes to support our lectures and classes. These were extremely popular with our students and helped them learn in a way that worked best for them as individuals. We aim to provide an excellent and enjoyable experience regardless of whatever social distancing guidelines may still be in place and are looking forward to seeing our students (both new and old) next September.
Iain Moffatt

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