We spoke with Nadia Salmon, IB Coordinator of Unidad Educativa Particular Bilingüe Liceo Panamericano, Ecuador about the efforts the school made to ensure that students were fully prepared to sit the November 2020 examinations.
Managing exams during a global pandemic is without a doubt a challenge. For the Unidad Educativa Particular Bilingüe Liceo Panamericano, Ecuador, the preparations started in early April 2020 along with the beginning of the academic year.
The school rapidly came up with a plan to facilitate learning and teaching following the COVID-19(Coronavirus) outbreak. In early March, they began to prepare their students and develop plans that would ensure continuity of learning. The school implemented a “Distance Learning Plan” and initiated virtual sessions that included both “Internal Evaluation Conversations“ and webinars covering each subject. In addition, to gain the trust of students and parents the school began to hold several virtual classes.
IB Coordinator, Nadia Salmon highlights the significant changes the school had to make regarding learning and teaching including the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) activities. “Among the changes, we had to make to prepare for the examination session was the virtual sessions for CAS activities. The students proved to be resourceful, improving their use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as well as their creativity and interaction with the community”, says Nadia Salmon, continuing,” Biology projects were also changed from experimental to simulators and databases. Obtaining primary sources for Business Management was online or by video call. Subjects from groups 1 and 2 made the oral comments via Zoom. The internal evaluations were divided into small tasks so that the teachers could follow-up and give feedback to the students and the monograph process had more monitoring sessions by the supervisor with this same objective”.
“The collaborative work was exceptional with a lot of flexibility, communication, exchange of ideas and ICT suggestions for each subject, commitment, effort and dedication”.
The school couldn’t be prouder of its community, since teachers, students and parents demonstrated resilience, leadership and organizational skills enabling the school to maintain learning and as a result to conduct the examinations successfully. “Students were organized into working groups through virtual sessions with a leader and a student tutor to support each other to achieve the best possible results. The team of teachers and managers were trained in different online platforms. The collaborative work was exceptional with a lot of flexibility, communication, exchange of ideas and ICT suggestions for each subject, commitment, effort and dedication”, added Nadia Salmon.
Despite the challenges that emerged from the virtual learning environment and the changes in the educational landscape, the cooperation and trust that arose between students and teachers are responsible for the school’s achievements. “Students were surprised by the skills of the teachers in terms of the use of technology and the time in which the team has been able to adapt to the change in order to give them the most effective support for the preparation of the November 2020 session”, said Nadia Salmon. Furthermore, this experience empowered students to grow both academically and personally, to hone their skills and to improve their self-esteem. “Undoubtedly, online learning has had a significant impact on the entire community. But the students managed to further develop communication, research and self-management skills for classwork and internal components”, added Nadia Salmon.
“Undoubtedly, online learning has had a significant impact on the entire community. But the students managed to further develop communication, research and self-management skills for classwork and internal components”.
When it comes to managing examinations during the pandemic, Nadia Salmon shares her insights: “As a recommendation to other schools, we highlight the importance of planning in advance, restructuring content, and dividing internal evaluations into small tasks to monitor student progress. Teachers must be motivated and committed to their processes in order to be flexible during the preparation of students”.
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