The University of Technology and Applied Sciences-HCT conducted the 4th ELTPD Forum entitled “EXPLORING ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING” on the 14th and 15th of September, 2021. The webinar commenced with the welcome speech by Mr. Mohammed Al Kharusi, Director-ELC. Ms. Ghada Sarhan, the Staff Professional Coordinator and Webinar Chair addressed the virtual entourage with her words of encouragement to absorb and enhance the language teaching and elucidated the new approach adopted in organizing the webinar.
The pandemic forced teachers to make changes in their teaching methods and strategies to make learning reachable, possible and comfortable. In this process, teachers have walked a thousand miles to bring out their best with creative and innovative approaches to make online learning effective. The two-day webinar was conceptualized based on an online discussion forum held in groups by the ELC Staff of HCT. The discussion forum allowed the ELC faculty to get together to share and explore new ideas to make online teaching and learning more efficient and productive.
The main objective of the two-day webinar was to discuss the benefits and challenges of online teaching and learning and to explore the emerging varied methods and strategies in English Language Teaching (ELT) and share the experiences for a better future in ELT. The two-day webinar substantiated 18 topics with 9 sessions a day, based on the theme EXPLORING ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING. Each session was of 20 minutes duration with 10 minutes of question and answer time. The topics covered in the webinar were motivation and effective feedback in an online environment, blended and collaborative learning, strategies for hybrid learning, the role of teacher, assessments, how to deliver an engaging online reading class, writing class and speaking lessons, use of different types of media, self-study skills, critical thinking in online classrooms, online struggles of teachers and students. Last but not the least, teachers’ wellbeing and mental health.
The webinar manifested active participation from the host ELC-HCT and also from the other Colleges of Technology such as Al Musanna, Ibra, Nizwa, etc. A few sessions had around 200 attendees. At the end of day 2, during the closing session Ms. Ghada Sarhan enunciated the outcomes of the ELTPD. The outcomes achieved were it provided a platform to reflect and introspect on online teaching experiences and perspectives, participants explored ways to overcome the challenges of online teaching and exchanged ideas and thoughts to set the directions for the future of English Language teaching. The webinar enabled discussion on the pros and cons of various strategies of online teaching like synchronous, asynchronous and hybrid and provided a professional development opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers.
The Webinar Chair, Ms. Ghada thanked the presenters and participants for their time and efforts for making the event fruitful and stated that the Organizing Committee is envisaging on more such lucrative ventures. E-certificates were issued to internal and external participants upon submitting their feedback.
“The goal of language class is not to perfect students but to bring students to a point, they can improve on their own.”
Report by Ms. Neeraja Mote