Teaching Matters

PS2 R4b Mitigating technical and interaction difficulties in the online learning environment

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 30 November 202030 Nov 2020


Mitigating technical and interaction difficulties in the online learning environment


  • Miguel A. Iglesias, School of Health Sciences, CoHM*
  • Michele Dowlman, School of Nursing, CoHM


Digital connections

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Room 4




KIT502 Web Development was originally designed for face-to-face teaching within a conversion Master program. The unit is focused on implementing a fully functional website requiring technical skills based on the client-server platform. The urgent transition to emergency remote teaching the online delivery mode, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has challenged usage of the local UTAS server in other countries due to an unstable network connection. To alleviate the challenge, we adopted an open server platform to provide a stable environment for offshore students with a concise manual provided. Demonstration videos for practical exercises were made to enhance the understanding of what the open server platform required.

It worked as a quick solution; however, we observed reduced student engagement and participation. It was difficult to encourage students to participate fully and interact with peer and teaching staff. We focused on providing the technical support, and neglected to attain engagement and participation so that students could learn and go beyond the given content. To encourage the students’ interaction and participation in class, we plan to adopt pair programming instead of individual programming for practical exercises. It could enable a more interactive session, and the students could participate fully to broaden their knowledge and experience with the course material (Umapathy & Ritzhaupt, 2017). Pair programming allows students to collaborate in solving programming tasks so that they can better engage in the learning experience, and develop interpersonal and social skills (Salleh et al., 2011). Virtual pair programming can also be achieved through the University’s Learning Management System by sharing of their ideas.


Salleh, N., Mendes, E., & Grundy, J. (2011). The effects of openness to experience on pair programming in a higher education context. 24th IEEE-CS Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T), 22-24 May 2011. 149-158.

Umapathy, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. D. (2017). A meta-analysis of pair-programming in computer programming courses: Implications for educational practice. ACM Trans. Comput. Educ., 17, Article 16.

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