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AUN promotes "Distance learning" in response to online education trend
The Covid-19 epidemic has led to a rapid and comprehensive shift from the traditional teaching and learning to Internet-based learning. Many lecturers got confused when they suddenly had to adapt themselves to this mode of learning. In this situation, the Secretariat of ASEAN University Network (AUN) in collaboration with the University Deusto (Spain) offered an online training course on "Remote attendance learning model" to support university lecturers in selecting distance learning models and new technologies to effectively response to the changing learning environment during the COVID - 19 pandemic.

The course instructor is Dr. Alex Rayón Jerez, Deputy Head of International Affairs, University of Deusto. The overall methodology proposed by Mr. Alex divides the teaching process into three stages: before the lesson, during the lesson and after the lesson with 25%, 50% and 25% of the workload, respectively. In particular, before and after the lesson, lecturers are encouraged to use an asynchronous approach, which means to prepare required learning materials for students to study on their own. During the lesson, a synchronous approach should be used to promote practical exchanges between the lecturer and the learner. However, depending on the content of the lesson and the instructional materials, that need to be conveyed to the learner, the lecturer should choose either the synchronous or the asynchronous approach. Dr. Alex also introduces some technologies that lecturers can use such as Google Jamboard, Loom, Twiddla, YouTube studio, ... (for synchronous approach) or email, Power Point recording, ... (for asynchronous approach).

One of the important aspects of teaching and learning through the Internet is to create motivation and cohesion for learners. The key to this is to create a community where every learner feels connected to their classmates and lecturers. Accordingly, the five factors motivating learners to be present in an online classroom are: social respect (e.g. receiving timely responses), social sharing (e.g. sharing information and expressing beliefs), open mind (e.g. expressing consent or receiving positive comments), social identity (e.g. being called by name) and intimacy (e.g. sharing personal experiences). A learning community needs both interactions between learners and lecturers, and among learners.

Some problems may arise during online teaching and learning such as network overload, ineffective communication among learners, too many instructional material options or overwhelmed lecturers. In such cases, Dr. Alex recommends that lecturers choose to reduce the number of optional materials so as not to overwhelm learners; provide learning materials in advance for students to study on their own; and during the lesson, organize exchanges and Q&A sessions, and encourage learners to choose their study groups to complete group work. In addition, lecturers need to create opportunities for learners to score in online activities and set appropriate deadlines to motivate them to complete assignments.

Finally, the assessment of the online learning process is also very different from the traditional assessments as lecturers need to create a diverse set of exercises to cover all the aspects of the learning process such as the final exam, weekly tests, group tasks, reports, discussion participation, etc. This assessment should be notified in advance to the learners so that they can have their own study roadmaps. Furthermore, conducting online assessments is also a challenge that lecturers need to face because these assessments require specific positive, appropriate language and tone to encourage learners.

 VNU Media
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