Academics from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF) came together for a three-part virtual Bring and Share Problem-Solving Symposium to share the lessons they have learnt during the period of emergency online teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The symposium was inspired by lecturer Dr Kerry McCullough’s appeal to her colleagues for assistance in solving a problem encountered during one of her online lectures.
‘Professor Colette Muller, a fellow lecturer helped talk me through the solution. It struck me that similar conversations were probably happening throughout SAEF and that we should get everyone together to learn from one another,’ said McCullough.
The aim of the symposium was to address several specific online-related concerns and to relate the initial training offered by the UKZN Teaching & Learning Office (UTLO) and Dr Upasana Singh (School of Management, IT and Governance) to the SAEF context.
It was also an opportunity for academics to share various online-related tips and tricks that they had found particularly helpful. Demonstrations of certain functions in Moodle and the various online functions they had used this semester were also shared.
The sessions were well-attended, and included much discussion and Q&A. Presenters included SAEF academic staff Dr Abdulkader Mahomedy, Ms Tamyln McKenzie, Ms Faeezah Peerbhai, Ms Vanessa Gregory, Dr Claire Vermaak, Ms Ralitza Dobreva and McCullough.
The participants said that the series of talks was very helpful and agreed that they all learnt something of value for their current online teaching, as well as applications for the future when the University re-opens for contact classes.
They hope to continue this community of sharing as they enter the second semester and continue to navigate the challenges of this unprecedented time.
‘Creating an online community for School staff to interact with one another is incredibly important. Not only did we all learn so much, but it offered a valuable space and time to see one another and have a short conversation,’ said McCullough.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga