Walailak University is joining the world in going fully online in its teaching and learning. After two weeks’ suspension of teaching as ordered by the government, lecturers and students were on Thursday, 2 April “back to class”- a virtual class.
“Both lecturers and students seem to be satisfied with the virtual environment. For some, this is indeed a steep learning curve but it is worth learning as teaching and learning online is most likely here to stay, even after COVID-19. It has provided flexibility in teaching and learning, and this is for many a new and exciting experience”, said Professor Dr Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, following his observations of a number of online classes and a meeting with his senior administrators.
Prof Sombat further said that it was no denying that there were areas that needed improvement as far as technology and new skills for staff and students were concerned, but the current situation should be viewed as a new opportunity in higher education, particularly for the young students who will grow even deeper into the world of digitalization.
Overall, Walailak University has been reasonably prepared for this eventuality of offering teaching online. Staff, both academic and support, have undergone training in online delivery. In recent weeks, they have been trained in new technologies. A teaching and learning committee has devised new guidelines on online delivery. These efforts will ensure the smoothness of the new mode of delivery.
“At the end of the two weeks of teaching online, an evaluation of the new mode will be made to see if further adjustments will have to be done,” said President Sombat.