July 7, 2020, by khyx2lyn
School of Psychology’s response to Covid-19
As I begin to write this article, I am reminded faintly of the last face-to-face LCF meeting we had in February and Dr. Keeble informing us that there might be a high possibility of moving to online lectures and distance learning, while that was disheartening he also mentioned that the School of Psychology (SoP) has already started preparing for such circumstances.
On 16th March the university announced that all lectures shall be delivered online from 23rd March and the university shall remain closed. This news caused havoc among the students with many uncomfortable about the idea of distance learning, but the SoP was provident right from February. As soon as the university sent out the email on 16th March Dr. Keeble sent out emails explaining the situation and the measures that the SoP would take to ensure that learning continues as planned and we finish our course in due time, not only that, all students were taken care of and the school advised on returning home, practicals and all the activities that were planned to take place. After that, we were sent regular updates from the school, almost every day until two weeks informing us of how to use teams, how to enter a team, etc. During the first week of distance learning, all students were sent out forms after every class asking for feedback so the lecturers can help us learn better, these measures were one of a kind and it is surely unmatched. We had an emergency LCF meeting after the first week of classes where we were able to voice out student concerns and also give our views on distance learning. The whole situation was handled so smoothly and there seemed to be no element of panic among the staff or the students, the procedures were well-drafted out and the preparedness of the lecturers to deliver online lectures was commendable.
The SoP even went a step further in ensuring that their students are attended to and their mental health is taken care of by having Tea Break sessions every Thursday at 4 PM. This initiative was one of its kind, every Thursday we would have fun competitions such as sports, “who can hold Dr. Steve’s book on their head longer”, talk about almost anything on earth and feel part of a big family at SoP. This was also an opportunity for students to ask about any concerns they might have and also get to know the lecturers up, close and personal. While the rest of the world felt disconnected, the SoP was connected more than ever!
The proactive response did not stop there, the students were updated regularly on the assessments and given deadline extensions very leniently, at no point did the students feel that there was a lack of communication from the school about any matter. The arrangements for alternative assessments were made well-in-advance and we were informed of the methods.
While this might not be the imagined end we all expected we would have of our first-year/second-year or our degree I believe it was made better by the continuous efforts put in by the SoP, the measures taken were commendable and the lecturers left no stone unturned to ensure that the students felt included and were well-updated at all times.
Article by Vartika Khandelwal