Monash University
SarahYang - FIP Poster 200923_v2_A0 (1).pdf (688.63 kB)

Teaching Associates’ perspectives of online teaching and learning in a pharmaceutical science degree

Download (688.63 kB)
posted on 2024-02-27, 02:40 authored by Sarah YangSarah Yang, Elizabeth Yuriev, Jennifer Short

COVID-19 restrictions have forced instructors to quickly adapt to the online environment by familiarising themselves with various strategies for teaching online. One of the online teaching strategies employed at Monash University in the Pharmaceutical Science course was the combination of breakout rooms in synchronous ZoomTM meetings with Google DocsTM, which replaced face-to-face workshops. This project aims to identify approaches used by teaching associates (TAs) to facilitate small-class synchronous workshop-style online classrooms and to analyse their perspectives of online teaching and learning. Seven TAs teaching into the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science degree were observed in their online classrooms and interviewed in semi-structured manner. The observation data was analysed using a frequency analysis approach where the number of times a particular facilitation strategy that is known to be effective was used by TAs was counted and the interview data was analysed qualitatively using the reflexive thematic analysis approach. The analysis of the interviews showed that setting expectations and having a structured workshop with judicious group formation and instructor-prepared Google DocsTM were considered effective strategies for facilitating small synchronous online classrooms. However, non-compulsory classes that were not assessed and student-prepared Google DocsTM were perceived as less effective. Identified areas for improvement included promoting camera use during class, holding TA briefing sessions prior to workshops earlier to allow more preparation time, and expanding training for online facilitators. Barriers to improvement were also revealed, such as students’ unfamiliarity with their peers and a delay in the availability of facilitator notes provided to TAs by academics. The former discouraged students from using cameras during class while the latter led to the TAs feeling under-prepared for the workshops which they were facilitating. Analysis of the classroom observation data revealed that the TAs used wide range of facilitation strategies that are known to be effective, with the most frequently used facilitation approaches including lecturing, questioning, listening, and providing feedback. TAs also employed various Zoom features where the most commonly used feature was moving between breakout rooms followed by sharing screen. By keeping the identified successful teaching approaches while implementing strategies to address both the not-so-effective approaches and barriers to improvement, instructors would be able to create more effective and meaningful online learning experiences for students.


Usage metrics


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager