The #onlinetogether webinar series - supporting teachers in Romania with online education during the pandemic
The e-Learning Centre within the Politehnica University of Timișoara together with IEEE Romania and EDEN Association launched a series of practical and interactive webinars starting from 15 April 2020, aiming to support teachers and students with the challenges of online education during the pandemic. More than 10 partner institutions responded to the #onlinetogether initiative and joined as presenters and moderators, gathering over 4.800 participants – teachers, students and interested parties.
In these times of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just like in other countries, face-to-face educational functions and activities are being moved online, using apps, platforms and various tools for distance education.
Many of us are struggling with the adjustment to working and teaching online, especially those who have always taught in a traditional classroom and are now being asked to rapidly regroup and prepare for a longer period of educational “social distancing” .
With the purpose of finding answers for these questions, encouraging collaboration and supporting teachers with online education, the e-Learning Centre within the Politehnica University of Timișoara, together with IEEE Romania and EDEN Association initiated a series of practical webinars focusing on the challenges of online education and experience during these times.
Launched on 15 April 2020, the #onlinetogether webinar series took place online weekly, gathering dozens of partner institutions represented mostly by teachers and students within the academic environment, but also some of the undergraduate environment and interested parties from the private sectors.
During #onlinetogether webinars, we were able to share unique opinions and experiences from different perspectives, encouraging collaborative work, both between teachers, students and the national academic environment, and thus we believe we have significantly helped the performance of online and open learning.
Topics addressing online education from different perspectives
The topics presented in the ten webinars focused on the daily challenges of everyone in this period, being designed in the spirit of open education and free access to knowledge.
The presenters addressed various topics and perspectives on online education, open educational resources, and shared ideas, experiences, strategies and solutions , which they tried to implement in the current context.
Some of the topics that raised the highest interest were: From in Campus Education to Online Education; Perception of teachers and students regarding online education: opportunities and challenges; Using OERs, MOOCs in Education; The impact of online technologies in the training of engineers; Practical use of Open Educational Resources. UNESCO recommendations.
The list of partner institutions who joined the #onlinetogether webinar series: Politehnica University of Timisoara, West University of Timisoara, Ioan Slavici University of Timisoara, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Victor Babeș" from Timișoara, Technical University "Gheorghe Asachi" from Iaşi, Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Babeș-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Banat "King Mihai I of Romania" Timișoara and National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania.
With hundreds of participants weekly all 10 webinars were designed to be interactive, each webinar being followed by a Q&A session, where participants were able to ask the most pressing questions and raise various issues they faced online.
Recognition and open resources
To grant recognition to the #onlinetogether webinar attendees, the e-Learning Centre issued Open Badges to the participants, presenters and moderators.
The list of Open Badges issued for each webinar is available online and can be accessed by clicking on the picture below.