While many Hong Kong families were enjoying their Chinese New Year holidays, the team at Malvern College Hong Kong (MCHK) were working hard to ensure a swift and smooth roll-out of the school’s online learning programme from the first day back.
At MCHK, online learning is not just about trying to replicate the school day in an online environment. For relevant years, the school has engaged a flipped learning approach.
What is flipped learning? It’s an approach in which material is introduced to students before class, rather than during class time as it would in a traditional classroom. The class time is then used to dive deeper into the material, instead of merely to introduce it.
To support this new approach, the MCHK teaching body has been creating instructional videos that pupils can watch, pause and re-watch to digest content at home. Using these videos, students can become familiar with new concepts before attempting home learning tasks set by their class teacher or engaging with classmates via online discussions.
Once the students have digested the materials and attempted their learning tasks, they are given personalised feedback from the teacher. This feedback is delivered through written comments, online chats and video conferences.
The MCHK team acknowledges that parents are under a great deal of pressure during this period of school closure. It recognises, too, that pupils are working in different environments, and in some cases in different time zones. In many Hong Kong-based families, often both parents are working. This means many parents have limited time to support their child’s home learning. For this reason, the school says it has been careful to balance the workload to avoid anxiety for both pupils and parents. Last year’s school closure has proven instructive as well; MCHK has taken the parental feedback from that period into account and tweaked its approach accordingly. This time around, teachers are working with less screen time and creating more bite-sized learning sessions to retain pupil engagement.
Home learning tips from MCHK Headmaster Dr Lister
#1 Establish a structured environment and routine at home and adhere to it – this will make it easier to keep children engaged in online learning and will help ensure a smooth transition for both parents and pupils on the return to school.
#2 Build in breaks to balance the intensity of online learning.
#3 Ensure there is device-free time each day, and try to limit exposure to news coverage and social media.
#4 Allow time for relaxation and plenty of exercise.
#5 Make the most of the opportunities online learning provides such as the development of self-management skills and accountability of children for their own learning.
For more information on Malvern College Hong Kong’s online learning programme, listen to our podcast.
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