The lectures were arranged using video conferencing tool (Microsoft Teams). I shared my screen to show examples and how-to-do-this with my computer. This communication was pretty much “one-way”, the students did ask or comment only few times. In addition to my short lecture there was assignment for students to submit using Teams. In that class I arranged my lectures in the same time I would do in normal school conditions, three times a week. Some of the lectures I recorded and shared to students using Microsoft Stream -cloud.
Example 2. The course material was already in the Internet-service (www.opinaika.fi, in Finnish only) so I created usernames for students. The course material included theory with examples and brief automatically checked assignments. Cool thing was that the system allowed me to monitor when and how student had accomplished each assignment. On Fridays I quickly checked how many points had each student achieved and give some feedback personally. I was available for students to explain unclear points with video conference tools or Teams-messages.
In addition to automatically checked small assignments I will grade in detail 40 exam-type assignments per student so this will be a lot more work compared to traditional exam. In this course I pilot to grade with no official controlled test.
Students working varies; some studied very regularly and some very loosely. Few students are causing worry because of very passive or minuscule communication and lack of submitted assignments. The course is in progress as I am writing this.
Example 3. The course started before corona-restrictions. The final exam was arranged as remote-exam; the assignments appeared on a fixed time to the password-protected www-site and there was three hours for students to submit the answers. Student could take a photo of their hand-written answers and send that to me or upload to the restricted www-site. Of course, I pondered upon the possibility of cheat. This time the results were pretty much as I would bet based on each student’s schoolwork in normal times. But if the corona-situation goes worse in future and we continue remote school in September, I will use more controlled remote-exam. One way is to start exam so that I can monitor each student’s webcam to check they are alone and continue to monitor their computer’s desktop (student shares her/him screen to me).
None of the known methods is waterproof, I think.
Video-conferencing software Teams worked very well in one-way communication from teacher to all students, and well in creating/submitting math assignments. Out student had licences to Office 365, but it took a while before everything was working. In small group conversations does Teams work very well. Teacher must create “channels” to subdivide whole class into smaller groups. Another option for arranging the remote classes with video conferencing was Zoom-software. Zoom seemed to be more agile with greater number of participants but it lacked assignment-tools, composition of course material.
As math writing tool I used mostly Word -equation editor. I also have possibility to connect a document camera to PC and share the screen to show my hand-written math. I did try a Bamboo digital pen too but ended up writing math mostly with keyboard.
Touko Arhosalo, mathematics teacher, Iitin lukio, Finland