In the winter semester 2021, the VCL was implemented in two different Bachelor Programmes at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The first module was “Basic Botany” for first-year Biology-Chemistry students, while the second module was “Psychology of Language” for second-year Pre-school Education students. During the VCL course 16 students participated in the first module “Basic Botany” in which topics plant cell topics were covered. The 11 students who participated in the second module, “Psychology of Language (Psycholinguistics),” have learned about the nature of language as a human mental process.
3 Meetings are conducted (in the end of the week), during which, in the first part explained in the synchronous way general aspects of the lectures and in the second part used _Miro Board_, _Slido_ and _Tricider Apps_ for discussions. During the lesson the students were presented with specific exercises
E-tutors have helped the students by explaining to them how VCL works and showing them different shortcuts and personal experiences. This way the learning curve of each generation can be improved.
In each module students are divided into supervised groups by two or three e-tutor depending on the module. The module “Basic Botany” had 3 e-tutorials, while the module “Psychology of linguistic (Psycholinguistics) had 2 e-tutorials. Through quizzes conducted in _Kahoot,_ interactivity in _Slido_ students have not only had the opportunity to know their partial assessment, but it has also been possible for them to discuss interactively with each other about ambiguities
Assessment of the Students
The evaluation of the students is based on their participation in the module, synchronous and asynchronous feedbacks during the week, delivery of the assignments, activity during meetings, knowledge implementation in applications used like Miro board, combined with the results of the exam at the end of the module. In the module “Basic Botany” VCL was 2.5 ECTS (from a total of 7 ECTS) and in “Psychology of language (Psycholinguistics)” the VCL was 2 ECTS (from a total of 6 ECTS) assessment points.
In “Basic Botany” course students were evaluated with points during the questions developed in Slido, like: “What is the tissue with the highest separation capacity?” or “What is the coverage tissue of secondary origin?”. While in Mirro Borard, the plant tissue or support tissue scheme was created together with the students. The individual assignments had to do with issues, like: Complete the diagram with the parts of the microscope; fill in the onion bulb membrane cell parts.
In Psychology of language (Psycholinguistics) Students had to prepare a course assignment which was assessed at the end of the module with a maximum of 20 points. Each student will follow for four weeks the language development of a preschool child and based on the observed data will prepare a research paper.
While during the other sessions they were evaluated through a quiz developed in Kahoot with 10 questions, such as: What does Broca's aphasia represent? What is Wernicke aphasia?
Surveys were used to evaluate the course, with one survey collecting student expectations and another collecting feedback after the course.
- In the pre VCL survey, students expected the course to help them enroll in other international courses.
- Although 66.7% of students were familiar with online platforms, they wanted to learn new platforms and methods to increase their computer skills.
- In the Post VCL survey, 50% of students thought that the contents of the module delivered were up-to-date and that the VCL module increased productivity in the classroom.
- 57.7% of students thought that the VCL had prepared them for the job market and that they had knowledge to use again VCL in the future. They considered online collaborative work as productive and timesaving.
- About 65.4% of students thought that the teacher had created a positive environment during the lessons, and they considered the online platform effective.
- However, some students had dilemmas about better learning alone or in groups, but 57.7% of students believed that the VCL module had helped them to improve competencies with new platforms and techniques.
- About 42.3% of students thought that the VCL module had improved their communication abilities and had encouraged creative thinking.
- The first-year bachelor students had difficulties in learning how to use MS teams and to return assignments, since they had never used this platform before. Not all the participants used desktop, so they were not engaged in the same way. The students of the second module did faced difficulty regarding Platforms because they had also used it during the COVID ’19 period.
- The VCL module works better on distance learning or during pandemic times when students do not contact each other during the day in faculties.
- Implement VCL on Master Programs, as students are more interested and have more technology skills and less free time (must learn these techniques at first).
- Students are not as active online for asynchronous learning since they are physically present at the faculty for all other lectures during the week.
Several steps taken during the pilot local VCL phase worked well, such as choosing suitable subjects and modules, scheduling implementation, converting lectures to Power Point, using applications for synchronous meetings, and using MS forms for module exams.