When our Education Minister Ong Ye Kung announced the first home-based learning on 28 March 2020, many schools had to step up and hasten to convert their lesson plans online. Acorn Training partnered with Radin Mas Primary School to conduct the P5 cohort design thinking and pitching workshop online. We have had our first 2 sessions for the P5 cohort in school before the online class for the third session.

Online Design Thinking Workshop
The P5 students were very excited and logged on early. Acorn trainers and teachers worked hand-in-hand to ensure all technical glitches were resolved before the class started. The students were excited to see each other online, especially the students who were on LOA or SHN who can finally join their classmates for a class!

Here are some issues faced and resolved during the online lesson:

Issue #1 Students get tired easily

Teaching online has its own set of difficulties that was different from our usual workshop. The students’ attention on the screen were shorter and they get tired quickly.

Solution #1 Mental and Physical breaks

Acorn reworked the lesson to be in shorter blocks and included short periods of mental breaks in the form quick energizers and written reflections. Physical breaks need to be included intentionally during the class to allow students to rest their eyes and go for a toilet break.

Solution #2 Adapted online activities

We realize that many of our activities cannot be done, so we must adapt them.
For example, an aspect of pitching was the effective use of body language. The game of charades was done by appointing a volunteer to use his facial expressions to act out a phrase. The students had a great laugh, and everyone volunteered to act!

Issue #2 Reduced efficacy of the lesson
Another concern the teachers had was that online classes were not as effective in ensuring that the application of the class was carried out.

Solution: Break down large assignments into chunks

The class was a pitching session where students were guided to write their script. The whole process was broken down into parts and students were to pitch and get feedback from the trainers and fellow students. The students then can continue to work on their script after the online session was over.