May 7, 2020, by International students
Online learning during coronavirus
The last couple of months have been an extremely difficult and uncertain period for all of us, all over the world. However, most of us continue our daily lives, working remotely and improvising using technologies. Our students talk about studying online during this time and what they have learnt from the experience.
Priya Pai, MBA
Hello! I’m Priya and I am currently studying the MBA programme at the University of Nottingham.
Currently we are facing the unprecedented times with the Covid-19 outbreak and yes, many things have changed in the last couple of days for us. From being in the classroom throughout the day and having brainstorming sessions in the University libraries to now being in my accommodation room and learning through live online sessions and materials, there definitely has been in a shift to our learning experience. But again, all of this is also part of our experience.
In terms of the University services, here is how things are going. All lectures have moved online, and professors are connecting with students over online platforms. Currently, I’m having my elective modules (i.e. subject) going on and had Innovation Management delivered online last week. Personally, it wasn’t a massive change to adapt to. We had some content of the subject delivered via live sessions where the professors would essentially present their screen, explaining us the subject content and wherever we had any questions we would drop them on a common chat box which are addressed at the end of the seminar. The professors would also record these sessions and post them online so that we can view the recordings again at our convenience. The module also required us to work on a presentation as a group which again transitioned smoothly to the online mode. As a group, we connected every couple of hours for discussing the group work and were able to complete and present our pitch to the panel members online. Guess where there is a will, one is always able to find a way. In terms of other student services, we have been made available with all the subject content online which also includes accessing the library collections online and other databases which we use for our coursework. It is a lot to take in, but the University is really extending their support to all of us and making us feel as comfortable as possible. The MBA course staff are currently super flexible with their schedule and are there to help us.
At this note, I’m going to wrap up and to all the students out there, here is a humble request. Stay calm and do not panic. I can completely understand that you would have many questions about your future educational endeavours but please be rest assured that University of Nottingham will be supporting and sharing information regularly. The University will be definite at taking measures to ensure that we have all the required learning experience.
Felipe Espitia, MSc in Finance and Investment
First a brief introduction of myself, my name is Felipe Espitia from Colombia and I am studying a MSc in Finance and Investment. During this crazy time the teaching and studying resources have changed and we moved to home. In my case my accommodation room has become my lecture theatre.
My front line to carry on my studies is my home desk, my laptop and my iPad which are helping me to attend my lessons (the majority are recorded by my professors) and to complete my coursework. Since this place is a new and unique location for my university duties, I make it as friendly as I can, giving plenty space for each device, having a bottle of water to hand, a notebook to take notes and I usually play podcasts to feel that I have some company around me.
This new experience has challenged me because I have not had an experience like this before, and I am still a person of the old school teaching resources. However, we are in a technology era where many resources can make our lockdown easier. Resources like Microsoft Teams (some of my professors are using it to continue their lessons), Zoom, Facetime and even Skype are other resources to communicate with my friends, family and colleagues.
Finally, something that it is positive for this social distance isolation is to understand that today we have many sources to communicate and still have social contact with our relatives and friends, it does not matter how far away we are from them.
Angeliki Kondyli, BSc Economics
Hey! My name is Angeliki and I am an Economics student at the University of Nottingham. I’m from Cyprus and in my 2nd year of study. I have moved back to Cyprus following the pandemic and currently studying from home. As I came from the UK, I was quarantined as soon as I landed. My parents left me a car at the airport, and I drove to our holiday house, where I stayed for 14 days quarantined. Many students who came back home a day later, were quarantined at different hotels throughout Cyprus, and after that, the borders closed.
Working from home has been quite an experience. All my lectures have moved online, through lecture capture and some of my seminars/tutorials take place on Microsoft Teams. Interacting with our professors and tutors has never been easier. They communicate with us regularly and check up on us, to make sure we are doing okay in these difficult times.
As for me, adjusting to studying from home took a while. During my first few days of quarantine, I could not concentrate, because I felt lonely and scared in case I was a carrier, but also anxious because of the uncertainty about university and exams. It took a few days for me to finally adjust, and by that time the university had announced that they were turning our exams into Take Home Online exams. I felt relieved and that helped a lot in getting me to concentrate. By the time I went home, 15 days later, I had fully adjusted and managed to do plenty of work. My daily routine nowadays is very different. I make myself wake up early as I used to, but I make sure that I sleep 8 hours a day. I make a day plan, every night before I go to bed and stick to it throughout the day. I usually watch my lectures in the morning through and then I take a break for lunch. Then in the afternoon, I make sure that I have understood the material, by making my own notes for the lectures I watched earlier and by solving tutorial questions. After dinner, I avoid studying. I believe it’s important to have a break and to go to sleep calmer, so I prefer to watch a movie, play video games, or board games with my brothers. I video chat with my friends frequently to make sure we are here for each other and to feel less lonely.
However, staying home has its positives too. Normally my parents have busy schedules, but now we are all home and we spent lots of time together. We try to work out once a day, sometimes together, sometimes on our own. Once a week we have a yoga session together. Other than working out, we play board games a lot nowadays, and if not, my brothers and I play video games, which is a nice bonding activity. Since having more time in my hands, I have focused a lot on learning German. I took German as an extra module at University and now I have more time to practise it. I have applied to do an extra course online on Finance. Usually I do not have so much free time, so I want to take advantage of this as much as possible.
Learning something new is always exciting and useful. I believe it is important to take this time to reflect on who we are and what we have and to be grateful.