International Centre for Higher Education Innovation
under the auspices of UNESCO

IIOE Kicked off COVID-19 Response Training Series to Address the Pandemic

April 23, 2020
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On the afternoons of April 7th and 16th, 2020, International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) successfully launched its COVID-19 Response Training Series with two webinars, titled “Using ZOOM to Deliver Effective Virtual Lectures” and “Course development strategies to convert face-to-face resources into an online course” respectively. Both sessions have attracted active participation of faculty members from developing countries in Asia and Africa, providing practical experiences to address educational disruption during the pandemic.

IIOE training posters

The first webinar was delivered by Prof. Johannes Urpelainen from Johns Hopkins University. He offered a thorough and practical guide on using ZOOM as an effective tool as an alternative traditional teaching through concrete examples. He also provided a critical perspective on the benefits and challenges ZOOM might bring. Close to 400 professors and faculty members from different universities across 13 countries in both Asia and Africa joined. Prof. Urpelainen interacted with participants fully and responded to questions and comments one by one. Over 800 entries of questions and answers were recorded in the chat box as well.

The second webinar was also well-received by the participants. Conducted by Mr. Genzeb Jan Terchino, an experienced Instructional Designer from Adams State University, the session shared essential course development strategies to convert face-to-face resources into an online course. 396 participants from 25 countries in both Asia and Africa joined, including professors and faculty members from different universities, as well as researchers and educators from various organizations. Over 90% of the participants spoke highly of the session according to a poll. They indicated that they were more confident in “applying ICT in their teaching activities” and “expanding course resources”.

IIOE Secretariat’s support during the distant training

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to education. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic raises our awareness of the importance of science, both in research and international cooperation. The present crisis also demonstrates the urgency of stepping up information sharing through open science. The time has come for us to commit all together,” Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General declared.

Since its launching, IIOE has been actively preparing the COVID-19 Response Series, trying to address the challenges in conducting teaching activities during the pandemic. It focuses on providing support on online teaching platforms, learning tools, digital resources, and other topics related to teaching and learning, which will help alleviate the disruption in higher education through enhancing teachers’ capacity in adopting tools to conduct online teaching. For the next step, IIOE will work closely with a number of global experts in delivering more English and French webinars, as well as providing diverse resource packages. Trainings in the coming two months include “The ten ideas to transform your teaching in the COVID-19 era”, “Strategies and tools to boost remote learners’ engagement and enhance online learning participation”, and “Education continuity plan: university’s readiness to e-learning”.