12 January 2021

Making decisions about field days and practicals

 The new year has started, and we need to make decisions about our teaching. And the crucial decisions, of course, are about face-to-face teaching. When we binned all our days in the field in spring, we assumed we would be back to normal in autumn. And by autumn, we thought we would be back to normal in spring. But this pandemic keeps calling the shots! What with this new strain, which is so infectious it is threatening London, I don't like the idea of herding people into a big bus and taking them to an interesting field location. And I don't think the people in question like that idea either! And I know vaccination has started, but they started with the elderly and those working in the NHS and social care, and these categories don't include students and staff in ocean sciences. So were at the back of the queue! And so we should be, but it does mean we can't assume vaccinations will make fieldwork safe until, well, I think at least the summer. So we have been deciding to bring several more excursions and practicals online. Is that ideal? No of course not. But is it safe? Heck yes! You can stuff as many people into an online classroom as you want. The virus won't get in! But I really hope that by the next academic year, we can take students into the mud, and up close and personal to rocks again. That's the real thing!

No comments: