By Helen Torigoe, Guest Contributor
Dr. Cengiz Hakan Aydin, Professor atAnadolu University in Turkey presented timely personal testimony as a plenary speaker during the TCC2020@25 special One Day in Our Lives series of 24 sessions in 24 hours. Dr. Aydin wears many hats in his home country as an expert in open and distance learning, MOOCs, educational communications and technology. When Coronavirus unexpectedly shuttered schools in March 2020, Aydin set out to help his “120 daughters” (two biological and others “adopted” in a basketball program that he coaches) to continue learning despite the emergency. He did that by helping an entire K-12 private school shift from face-to-face to remote learning in just one month by coordinating existing technologies, human resources, and processes.
First, he clarified that remote learning (a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis) is not the same as well-planned distance learning.
Aydin relied on the skilled staff to build the technology infrastructure, trained teachers, and got parents involved. After successfully implementing remote delivery of 120+ courses to 836 students, Dr. Aydin continues to monitor the established systems and processes, train teachers, and maintain public relations (i.e. communicating with parents).
Strategies, challenges, and solutions of building a remote learning site during week 1.
What Dr. Aydin accomplished in one month was impressive and I appreciated the nuggets of wisdom that he shared:
- We can teach any subject in distance education with the right approach.
- Teachers should focus more on asynchronous guiding of students and creating learning activities. (Provide templates for teachers to complete, to help them transfer skills to real situations.) Teachers should not focus on synchronous sessions that try to imitate face-to-face — it will never replace face-to-face.
- Get ready for the next emergency or crisis.
- Agile design is possible (in a week or a month as he did) by keeping to KISS (keep it short & simple).
- Teachers can adapt faster than you can imagine.
- Students are already there but parent involvement is necessary for time management and self-regulation.
- There are lots of technology tools available.
- While designing, consider:
- Preconceptions and habits of the learners, teachers, parents
- [How to help students learn] should be the focal point
- Listen to teachers, students, admin, parents but rely on scientific knowledge and expertise
- On-demand support of teachers is crucial, but the scaffolding of skills is important to empower them.
Lots of valuable lessons for those who design remote learning or distance learning!
For more info, contact Dr. Cengiz Hakan Aydin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Helen Torigoe is an instructional designer at Kapi‘olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Along with colleagues Jaime Sickel and Youxin Zhang, she designed an award-winning professional development program in distance learning, Teaching Online Preparation Program (TOPP). To view a recording of Dr. Aydin’s presentation (and 23 others): https://2020.tcconlineconference.org/program/ [Day 2].
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