Pedagogical Innovation

Pedagogical Innovation

The University of Évora has adapted to the demands of the new world panorama associated with the Covid pandemic, with the aim of guaranteeing the continuity of its mission. For this purpose, and as a way of streamlining the process, UÉ joined the distance learning modality during this period. 

Teaching/Learning in COVID-19 context

This page was created with the objective of giving guidelines for the teaching of Curricular Units (US) at a distance, in response to the contingency measures applied to contain COVID-19.

The distance classes started on March 16th and will continue until the end of the semester. In exceptional cases, in which there are activities that are even impossible to perform at a distance, these activities will be replaced as soon as conditions allow.

Below, some guidelines for the faculty are presented, which are similar to those that are also being followed in other Portuguese Universities. 

Focus on the essential goals of the curricular unit

  • In distance learning it can be difficult to cover, with the same detail as in face-to-face teaching, all topics of UC. Therefore, it is important to identify the essential goals of the UC and focus on learning the subjects / skills considered essential.
  • Students must be clearly informed (via Moodle and / or email) of changes to UC objectives, assessment methods and delivery dates of papers, projects, reports, etc.
  • The Executive and Follow-up / Course Direction Committee must coordinate the changes in the UCs, in order to avoid work overload. The focus must be on learning, not assessment!
  • The Pedagogical Council of each School must be informed of the changes that occur in each cycle of studies and must approve the scheduling of all evaluation tests.

New Functioning of the CU

  • The functioning regime of the CU must be adjusted. In particular, considering that there may be students who do not have access to the Internet, or which access may not allow participation in synchronous sessions. Their approval should not depend on attendance at synchronous sessions.
  • If synchronous sessions are held, they must take place during CU hours.
  • The hours for doubts clarifications regarding CU subjects must be kept, electronically (email, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • All CU support material must be made available on the CU Moodle page. It is recommended the upload of all material before the class to which it relates.
  • Summaries must be registered and validated through the number of weekly accesses to Moodle, as is the case of the courses offered on an e-learning basis. It is not necessary to deliver the summary on paper.
  • It is recommended that all tests and exams be prepared in advance as a preventive measure in the event of any forced absence from the faculty.
  • It is important to identify if there are students with digital accessibility difficulties or special needs, so that you can send them the recording of the classes or, eventually, perform additional monitoring.
  • Students should be reminded that academic integrity rules remain in effect for online teaching and communication.

It is advised the combined use of both, Moodle and Zoom / Colibri platforms.

Moodle

  • The Moodle platform allows for asynchronous interaction with students, allowing them to post articles, powerpoints, exercise books, create discussion forums and chats, place short videos that students can view whenever they want (video lessons), perform tests and assignments and allows monitor student achievement of tasks.The Moodle platform allows for asynchronous interaction with students, allowing them to post articles, powerpoints, exercise books, create discussion forums and chats, place short videos that students can view whenever they want (video lessons), perform tests and assignments and allows monitor student achievement of tasks.

Zoom 

  • The Zoom platform allows synchronous sessions with students. These sessions must be held during CU hours. 
  • Zoom Chat allows students participation during class. To improve the sound quality, it is advisable that students keep the audio turned off and only turn it on when they want to participate orally.
  • It is possible to record the lesson in Zoom and put it in Moodle, so that students can access the lesson later in time.
  • The Zoom platform is available at https://colibri.fccn.pt. Authentication is done with access credentials (used to access SIIUE, e-mail, Moodle). 

See the manuals available on the Computer Services website  

 

All teaching activities in which it is possible to find alternatives at a distance that guarantee the quality of the learning process, must be carried out in this way! Everything that can be done should not be delayed!
However, there may be activities (some CUs for Music and Theater, some components of laboratory classes or fieldwork, some components of CU for Nursing and Veterinary Medicine, some components of CUS for Sports, ...), which have to be done in person. These activities will be restored as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

 

Video Conference Lessons

  • It is advisable to make a practical test before the first class. Send an email invitation to yourself. As Zoom works on laptops, smartphones or tablets, you can use one of these devices to check if your image and / or screen is being transmitted properly;
  • If a writing board is used, the position of the camera must be placed in a way that frames the board as legibly as possible. Check with other equipment that the picture is visible in terms of lighting and any reflections. 
  • If it is necessary to use a table, the use of the virtual table provided by the Zoom / Colibri tool should be considered, instead of a common table. If a common board is used during the lesson, the teacher is further away from the microphone and sometimes with his back to the camera and microphone. The volume of the sound heard by the participants may, for this reason, oscillate strongly. One possibility to minimize this problem is the use of a Bluetooth microphone / headset connected to the notebook. 
  • Prepare the proposal for online activities for each class and place it on the Moodle platform; take into account the size of the classes and make the work options also according to that number; for very large classes it may be worth dividing the class for some activities; large classes do not favor students participation and active learning;
  • A videoconference class is usually, and by nature, less interactive than a face-to-face class and, for this reason, more difficult to follow. Try to be clear and adjust the lecture time;
  • Supply rules of operation for the session to the students: microphone off, asking for the floor, entering or leaving the virtual class, using chat to ask questions, among other aspects; requests for word from the teacher, can be made by hand in the air or in the chat;
  • Share the resources for accompanying the session (electronic presentation, supporting texts and / or other resources) on the course page of the Moodle platform. 
  • Paying attention to students, for example, regularly checking that students are paying attention, through pauses and directed questions, requesting comments, among other possibilities;
  • After the session, you can consult the personal page on the Colibri / Zoom platform to access the recorded files of the session (audio, video and chat text) and make the recording of the session available (if desired) with students, with a link shared on the platform Moodle. For the recording functionality to be active, it is necessary to activate the recording of the session; we suggest that the recording of the sessions be done directly to the teacher's computer, to avoid recording failures.

Advised readings:

Practical Classes

  • In practical classes, it is recommended to divide the class into smaller groups, as it is difficult to have an online conversation with more than 5 to 7 participants. Zoom supports “group rooms” that divide the class into smaller groups and, after a specified period of time, bring the groups together to present the work done by each group, discuss and clarify doubts.
  • It is advisable to set clear goals regarding how students should prepare for the discussion. Consider submitting specific questions / exercises in advance or asking them to submit questions in advance.

Laboratory Classes

Laboratory classes usuallyrequire specific equipment and practical activities. However, it is possible tomodify laboratory classes to involve students remotely.

Here are some examples:

  • Consider changing lab activities. For example, change the focus from data collection to data analysis. Provide students with the results in the format in which they would be collected, and ask students to complete the analysis as if they had performed the data collection.
  • For cases where observations are part of the process, consider recording the demonstration and asking students to collect the necessary information through the video.
  • Students can work in groups to prepare reports by email or other collaborative tools.
  • Explore alternative ways of teaching, for example, online simulations, which allow students to interact virtually with the equipment and conditions of the laboratory.

However,there may be activities of laboratory classes that have to be carried out inperson. These activities will be restored as soon as the epidemiologicalsituation allows.

Schedule to clarify doubts

  • The schedule to clarify doubts must be maintained and can be ensured electronically (email, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • It is advisable to set clear goals in terms of how students should prepare for their opening hours. Consider asking students to submit questions in advance.
  • An interesting alternative is to use the Moodle Discussion Forum. Any student can create a new topic that can be answered by both his colleagues and the teacher. Participants must activate the subscription option to receive new messages on the Forum in their e-mail.

Lesson recording

Thereare several options for recording a lesson or presentation. A recorded lessonor a slide show can be shared with students, for example by posting on educast/ Loom or on YouTube and posting on Moodle.

  1. Zoom:  You can use Zoom as a recording tool to record a lesson remotely allowing students to watch the lesson later. This feature must be activated at the beginning of the meeting.
  2. PowerPoint (slide show):  Open the presentation in PowerPoint and activate the Slideshow (Slide Show). Click the Record button to enter the slide show mode, and the recording will automatically start. When you're done, click the Finish button. To export your recording as a video file, select File> Export and select Create a video. Make sure you select “Use Recorded Timings and Narrations”. Make "Save as" and choose a file type "Video MPEG-4 (*. Mp4)".
  3. EDUCAST RECORDER MAC (available on the SI page)-  allows you to record the screen and the teacher appears in a corner, or only screen or voice. For equipment with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, Loom must be used.

Mobility Students and International Students 

Mobility students and international students were presented with the possibility of returning to their countries of origin, completing the CUs in which they are enrolled at the University of Évora on an e-learning basis.

Teachers responsible for CU where students of mobility in and / or international students who have chosen to return to their countries, must ensure that students can attend and be assessed on an e-learning basis, even if the suspension period has ended.

 

Mobility Students Out who returned to Portugal 

Students in mobility out were advised to return to Portugal. For these students, two possibilities are presented:

a) Students keep the mobility regime out, if the university where they were in mobility allows them to complete the CU in the e-learning modality.

b) students become enrolled as normal students in the CUs that were part of the learning agreement, if the University where they were on mobility does not allow completion in e-learning.

 

For this last scenario, students can also be assessed by the continuous assessment regime, in a given CU, under the following conditions:

  • Absences from classes from the period in which they were in mobility are not counted;
  • They are exempt from the assessment tests that have already occurred, and their weight is proportionally attributed to the elements of continuous assessment that have not yet been carried out;
  • Teachers must act in order to minimize the disruption that this crisis has brought to the academic path of these students.

Teacher must accompany students in order to allow the recovery of the subjects already taught.

  • During the period of suspension of presential classes, face-to-face elements of assessment are not performed. 
  • Whenever possible, the elements of the continuous assessment regime that were expected to be carried out in person should be replaced by alternative elements that can be carried out / submitted online.
  • In continuous assessment, in cases where it was foreseen to carry out presential tests and where it is justifiable to maintain at least one of these tests to guarantee the reliability of the assessment, the same can be done during the final assessment period, as is indeed permitted by the Academic Regulation. 
  • The CU or CU parts (e.g. laboratory component) in which it is not possible to replace the presential activities, will be carried out, on an intensive basis, after the suspension period. The school calendar will change accordingly. 
  • The condition for the student to attend 75% of classes is suspended, as there are students who may not be able to attend synchronous sessions.
  • Adjustments to the school calendar will be announced as soon as there is more reliable information about the evolution of the pandemic crisis. 
  • The Executive and Follow-up / Course Direction Committee must coordinate changes in the evaluation methods and the evaluation dates, in order to avoid overlapping tests and an overload of students. 
  • Pedagogical Councils of the different Organic Units must coordinate with each other and with the IS the scheduling of online tests.

During the suspension period of the teaching activities, the following rules apply to public evaluation:

  • They must be carried out by videoconference, and it is desirable that a member of the jury and the candidate be present at the test location. However, the impossibility of verifying the situation described cannot, however, make the tests unfeasible. In either situation, it is necessary to ensure the agreement between the jury and the candidate as well as the technical conditions required for that purpose. The dates must be communicated to the IS in a timely manner. The minutes registers the form of participation.
  • It is up to the President of the jury to ensure that the above conditions are met.
  • The secretariat of the public evaluations sends information to the jury members and the candidate, in a timely manner, with the link and other information necessary for the tests; the link to follow the session must be inserted in the announcement of the public exams.

All tests already scheduled or to be scheduled must adopt this model.

  • Students who are enrolled in CU Thesis or CU Dissertation / Project Work / Internship Report should continue to meet with their advisors using distance collaboration tools. In most cases, there is no provision for an extension of the deadline for delivering the Thesis or Dissertation and Project Work. However, there may be an extension, to be announced when there is information for this, in cases where the research work involves field work / data collection in Schools, Hospitals and other institutions where this type of activities is suspended.
  • In the Internship CU, Clinical Teaching and Supervised Teaching Practice, considering the suspension of internships during the period of suspension of academic activities, it is assumed that there will be an extension of the evaluation dates of these CU and the delivery date of the respective reports, to be announced when there is information to do so.
  • In the 1st and 2nd cycle courses where there is an internship period with the consequent realization of an internship report, it is assumed that there will be an extension of the report delivery date, to be announced when there is information for this.

There are good resources on the Internet that can be used in distance learning. 

Suggestions for distance teaching

 Open Resource Sites/Repositories:

Others:

 

 

Support for Teachers

Courses for teaching in E-Learning regime

The University is offering online courses, on Moodle, to assist teachers in the use of distance learning tools.

  • Advanced use of Moodle in distance learning contexts -  the normal duration of this course is 7 weeks. However, all modules were made available at the same time, so that teachers can use those who need them. Teachers who are interested in taking the course should send an email for apoio@si.uevora.pt  to register for the course.
  • Technological tools for distance learning –  Moodle area created for the dissemination of technological tools and clarification of doubts , directed to the professors of the University of Évora.  You must request access through the email moodle@uevora.pt ,   indicating that you want to be enrolled in the Technological tools for distance learning area. 

Support for doubts

The University of Évora is reinforcing and giving priority to information and support actions for students and teachers. Thus when preparing and implementing online educational activities, teachers can count on technological and pedagogical support. 

  1. The University of Évora also offers a set of tools for distance learning. More information at https://www.si.uevora.pt/servicos/e-Learning .
  2. Technological support for teachers and students is ensured by the Informatics Services (SI) of the University of Évora. This support is provided by SI, through the addresses apoio@si.uevora.pt  or moodle@uevora.pt .  
  3. The Department of Pedagogy and Education of the School of Social Sciences (DPE/ECS) provides a team of teachers who are available to give pedagogical support to initiatives that involve the creation and implementation of online education activities. The team consists of José Luís Ramos (jlramos@uevora.pt ), Marília Cid (mcid@uevora.pt ), Conceição Leal da Costa (mclc@uevora.pt ) and also Rui Gonçalo Espadeiro (rge@uevora.pt ) from the ICT Competence Center of the University of Évora.