Péter Körtesi, University of Miskolc
HOW THE CORONA VIRUS HELPED US TO SPEEDILY DIGITALIZE TEACHING
On 10th of March we were officially informed of the decision of the Hungarian government about the restrictions concerning travels abroad and receiving visitors due to the pandemic situation, health prevention measures in the educational institutes, and suspension of all events, meetings, and conferences until 31st May. We were asked to prepare educational programs and tools to facilitate on-line teaching, and it was introduced during an emergency study holiday, dated 11-22 March. It gave us the time needed for the complete transition to on-line teaching, which was to start on 23rd March. Thus, both the teaching staff and the students had the necessary time to prepare for what would be their reality over the next couple of months.
The access of all students to the university buildings was blocked, and teachers over 60 years were advised to start working from home. After 2 weeks, all teaching staff were given the option to resume work at their university offices, respecting all health prevention measures, or if their home circumstances permitted it, to work in home office mode. The online teaching was based on a large variety of platforms such as Zoom, Google scholar, Microsoft Office platforms, and Moodle. Fortunately, some years ago, our university had put in function the MEMOC system, which facilitates the use of on-line massive educational forms. The assessment and exams were organized through this platform as well, called e-learning platform, see https://elearning.uni-miskolc.hu/
During this period, I, myself, offered lectures and consultations through the Moodle system, and we used the examples in our well structured European Virtual Mathematical Laboratory, EVML: https://www.uni-miskolc.hu/evml/, which was created in cooperation with 8 partner institutions, including some partners of the CEEPUS network as well. This portal offers also an on-line consultation form. For individual and group consultations, or oral examinations, when needed, I did use the ZOOM program.
During this period we even organized an online conference, between 20-24 May, see: www.uni-miskolc.hu/hmtm, and we are about to organize an online CEEPUS intensive course between 6-17 July as well. The Covid-19 pandemic was a crisis that hit all organizations badly, but it also provided an opportunity to develop faster and enter the digital era without further delay. As the Chinese say, “May you live in interesting times.”