Attendance is up for this Wintec class during lockdown

Online attendance is up for some Wintec classes even though students are working remotely

A typical student scene at Wintec before the lockdown. Wintec students are now working collaboratively online instead of face-to-face.

As New Zealand went into lockdown and Wintec classes moved online, no one predicted that in some cases, more students would attend online classes.

When Wintec Centre for Business and Enterprise tutor Beverly Taylor’s classes went online, she got a pleasant surprise.

 “In week one of teaching online, my class attendance actually increased with more students attending online classes than face-to-face classes. It’s going to be interesting to see if this trend continues.”

Beverly has taught at Wintec’s Centre for Business and Enterprise for 12 years and, as well as teaching Human Resources and Commercial Law and Economics, she also supervises students who are enrolled in Wintec’s Business Degree and Graduate Diploma programmes.

She has found the transition to online teaching relatively smooth.

“Our team was well prepared for online teaching. A lot of work was done by our managers and colleagues to ensure that staff were kept well informed and supported in our transition to work and teach online. It’s also reassuring to know that help is only a phone call, email or Zoom session away.”

Some of Beverly’s top tips for teaching online include using Zoom breakout rooms for discussions and group work. She also suggests getting students involved by giving them the opportunity to lead the class on Zoom.

“Teaching online doesn't have to be perfect! Try to relax and share the load with your team,” she says.

As for general technology advice – Beverly recommends using a virtual background on Zoom and getting students (or meeting participants) to mute their mics when not speaking. This cuts down on background noise as well as those accidental broadcasts from housemates and pets.

While New Zealand is under COVID-19 lockdown, Beverly is isolating at home with her husband, adult son, dog and cat.

As the only one in her bubble who is working from home, Beverly has implemented a daily routine and started sharing her teaching and meeting schedule with her family so they have a shared understanding of her work commitments. 

Her biggest challenge so far has been a personal one – having a birthday while in lockdown – which she says just wasn’t the same not being able to celebrate with family and friends in real life. She also misses her elderly parents, who she is keeping in touch with via Facebook Messenger.

However, she says there are also positives to staying home such as being able to spend some time in the garden and being more creative when it comes to cooking...often with limited ingredients!

Find out more about studying with Wintec's Centre for Business and Enterprise.

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