Online teaching at the University of Nova Gorica: upgrading our tradition
The recent inevitable changes in the educational needs arising form the global public health challenges represented an opportunity for UNG to upgrade its existing tradition of using distance-learning approaches. To maintain a continuous and high-quality teaching process, we immediately offered all our lectures online, sing the previously introduced tools and platforms such as Zoom, Big Blue Button, MiTeam and Moodle, and soon also carried out the first online defence of a doctoral thesis.
Our successful and swift adaptation to the changing needs was the result of the years-long deliberate implementation of new teaching approaches, especially the so-called flipped learning, where the students are provided with the learning materials in advance, before lectures, and they study the materials themselves first and only then discuss the topics in class. UNG had actually been using certain online-teaching methods even prior to the outbreak of the pandemic to enable a more successful inclusion of students athletes, students with special needs as well as of guest lecturers from abroad who could not come to UNG at a particular point of time. For more than a decade, also doctoral thesis argumentations, which PhD students must hold in order to proceed with and successfully complete their studies, have often been carried out in a distant mode.
Besides lectures, other study activities such as consultations, project work, open days etc. are currently being performed in a distant mode, too. Online lectures are also recorded and thus available to all students who may not be able to follow the lectures in a real time, either due to the lack of technical equipment at a particulat moment or due to other reasons. Certain examinations are performed online as well, using various videoconferencing tools and the exam.net application.