2020-11-28, 11:40–12:00, Room 1
The unexpected break out of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past months radically affected the way classes are designed and delivered. Crucially, it also imposed the use of online teaching platforms in all levels of education. The abrupt switch from onsite to online learning concomitantly created the need to assess online platforms to determine their effectiveness. Our research intends to assess such online tools by gauging educators’ attitudes toward them. In May 2020 a survey was conducted in the American Farm School of Thessaloniki (a P-20 private educational institution) to assess the online mode of teaching. Here we report the findings of the part of the survey which was conducted among English language teachers in secondary and higher education divisions that used Moodle as the primary platform for their lessons (primary education divisions relied on other online platforms). The survey elicited teachers’ attitudes related to: Preparedness, Anxiety, Motivation, Usefulness and Confidence. The initial findings show that the majority of the educators felt unprepared for the new mode of teaching in March, that is, at the beginning of the online learning experience. Surprisingly, within two months, during the post quarantine period in May 2020, educators report low levels of anxiety when using an online environment to hold classes. At the same time, high levels of motivation are reported, with educators being intrigued to use the online platform and considering online classes valuable and effective for their subject. Importantly, the new mode of teaching meets their subjects’ needs and is considered productive and useful. The areas where educators express neutral or negative attitudes pertain to the platform’s ease of use and the planning of lessons. Although the majority are confident delivering lessons and engaging students, measuring students’ progress remains a feature that Moodle could improve.
MSc in Developmental Cognitive Science
Middle School English Language Teacher | American Farm School
Associate Dean of Student Services, The American Farm School & Perrotis College.
Director of English Language Planning, The American Farm School, Thessaloniki Greece.