Covid Class musings: A Rocky start to on-line teaching and learning

English Language student REBECCA BEET describes her on-line development from petrified to proficient


It was that fateful Tuesday at 9-pm, when my housemates and I were sat in our thin stretch of hallway (otherwise known as a 'living room'), sharing a takeaway – the last supper – when we received the email that our year at university was to be completed online.

As I sat at my bedroom desk for my first on-line class, at 8:59, counting the seconds until somebody would join our Moodle instant messaging chat (ah, the days before MS Teams), I was sweating profusely and not, shall we say, having a fun time. As expected, not many people showed up and, honestly, it was kind of dreadful. There was no way to see who was typing on the site, so you had no way of knowing if you would type out a question or answer at the same time as another student, or worse, at the same time as the tutor!

Rooting for success

I had diligently attended all my classes for the year - I even attended a Roots of English seminar three hours after having a root canal, and had a root filled day! So, to suddenly have it all change in the blink of an eye was strange, to say the least.

I left Chester after that class and made it home to Worcester in time for my 1pm Creativity in English class. I'm very lucky that, as a second year, my classes finished on Friday 20th for the year anyway, but I still had a whole new module to complete (Researching Cestrian English) in SEVEN weeks!

Teams proficiency


After completing and handing in four assignments in around three weeks of Corona-filled lockdown-panic, it was time to crack on with my new 'experiential' module. The point of this seven weeks of stress at the end of Level Five is to gain experience in a workplace or area of study that you haven't experienced before. It's safe to say I am now proficient at Microsoft Teams, I can put my virtual hand up, I can change my virtual background, but most importantly, I can mute my microphone when my household make the obligatory-"Becky's in a seminar how much noise can we make?"-noise.

I'm extremely lucky that Covid-19 has yet to ruin my graduation, or my final ever classes at university, but it is still strange to think of all the changes that we will face in the coming year. So, yes, we may be the first year to have online classes, and yes, many of us had to extend and defer our assignments, make use of the microphone mute button on Teams, and face the fears of Covid-19 during months of deadlines and online exams, but at least we can add ‘proficient in MS teams’ to our CVs now.




Written by Rebecca Beet

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