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Faculty use Zoom for interactive learning

Zoom, an app which allows for interaction between teachers, was introduced to select members ofthe faculty from the science departments at SJC on Wednesday. Dr Susan Mary Philip, Department of Biotechnology, and her colleagues interacted with Dr Jenny Loertscher, Department of Biochemistry, in Seattle University. Dr Philip and Dr Loertscher were the moderators of the interactive session which focused on active teaching and learning techniques.

“Today’s session was to introduce Zoom to some of our teachers in the Science departments. We had a session with the Information Technology Department at the Centre for Digital Learning Institute in the USA. They introduced us to Zoom, which works better than Skype or WhatsApp. So today’s session was mainly focused on how to make a good use of it,” said Dr Fr Richard Rego, Director, Research Committee.

‘Active teaching learning techniques’ was the topic of the Zoom workshop conducted by Dr Loertscher, for the faculty. Dr Loertscher has been researching active teaching learning techniques for 15 years. Fr Richard Rego, FrMelwynD’Cunha, Dr Madappa, Dr Sayed Wajeed and Dr Philip were a part of the interaction.

“Active teaching learning techniques are meant for everybody who is involved in teaching or learning.The whole workshop was on ‘What is active learning?’. Traditionally we follow a very lecture-based model, where the professor stands and lectures and the students take or don’t take notes. There is no assessment for how much the students have learnt, until there is a test conducted.The focus nowadays is not just on lecturing but engaging students more in learning activities.There are certain activities that are structured in such a way that small groups will be able to solve. These activities involve proper reading, writing, comprehending, analysing and then solving,” said Dr Philip. “Some of us got to be a part of her classes. We saw that even if it was a large classroom, it was possible to engage pupils in active learning. But we have much larger classrooms here in India and that is a major challenge. We are working towards incorporating those techniques in our teaching ways too. This was largely about active learning in science classrooms. So the group comprised of faculty from biotechnology, botany, zoology, microbiology, maths, physics, chemistry, and electronics,” she added.