Facilitating online learning

  • Experience: 31 years - teacher
  • Education: 2nd cycle education
  • Subject: History and Geography of Portugal; Portuguese language


The contact with the students thus changed completely. Although we were in visual contact, on-line, we ended up feeling that physical distance as we were naturally used to, the range was not the same. We couldn't reach everyone in the same way, and not everyone appeared on the screen, either. I felt that the students would have, some of them, many doubts to be clarified, but that they did not ask.. The synchronous times worked more for the group-class and left less space for more individualized support.

In what ways did you respond to this dilemma/difficulty?

I gave written feedback to all projects, I never failed to respond to emails from students, or even parents, which considerably increased my work. Deadlines weren't always met by students, but there was always a certain condescension given the situation.

What are the implications for teaching, learning and my understanding of the role of a teacher?

Asynchronous moments ran better. The challenge became the ability to detach from the posture of a conventional teacher, more accustomed to the use of the school textbook and deliver lectures, or the direct relationship with students in the classroom, to a more guiding, motivating and regulator role in learning, giving more space to students so to foster them to develop a more autonomous work, at their own pace and interest, also stimulating a more collaborative work and self-assessment.

It was not always easy nor there was feedback from the students, but this is also the enormous challenge and potential of technologies, and it is this paradigm, these new windows they open, which, for me, is the most interesting part, that is, the challenge of knowing how to adapt the potential of the great variety of existing technologies to the specific objectives of learning.

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