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COVID-19: Science, Stories, and Resources

Member Perspectives

As people around the world are affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Biophysical Society is sharing stories from members about how their lives and research have been impacted.

    

Reverse Practicals in Australia

As people around the world are affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Biophysical Society is sharing stories from members about how their lives and research have been impacted. 

Po-Chia Chen, University of Sydney

Sydney, Australia

The pace of change is amazing here at Sydney University. To continue teaching biochemistry labs, Professor Gareth Denyer proposed on Sunday and piloted on Monday his idea of reverse pracs: We demonstrators still arrive at the lab, but we now act as research assistants to our student overlords who are collectively directing the experiment by livestream on Zoom. I'll jump in next week myself to see how that can be refined over the course of the semester. Similarly, all of my Masters of Teaching subjects have switched to online delivery with alternating recorded lectures and discussions on various platforms. The smoothness of transition showed that the administration's vision of online learning has paid off. Our IT platform is still a Frankenstein amalgamation of numerous providers, but it lives. Rather well, in this interesting time.

 I'm glad that my commute will be back down from 90 minutes to 15 seconds on days I don't take labs. This means spending that time reading to the sounds of birds and neighbours' pool pumps, instead of traffic and the occasional terror-inducing cough. It also saves on the rate of mask usage. (One should learn how to use them, i.e. consistently or not at all).

 

Would you like to share your experience in this difficult and uncertain time? Email your perspective to [email protected]



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COVID-19: Science, Stories, and Resources

Header Image Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS