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Thursday, November 12 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
Meet MetaDocencia: Volunteer Community Building for Teaching in Spanish, Online, and on Short Notice

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Synchronous and asynchronous online teaching was completely underutilized in Latin America before Covid-19. By early 2020, online higher education in Argentina was at the same stage as higher education had been fifteen years ago in the USA. On March 16th, 2020, all the in-person classes and training opportunities were canceled in Argentina due to the pandemic. As academics, researchers, and teachers with deep ties to the Latin American research and teaching community, we saw the need to train teachers in applying practical, easy-to-implement, and evidence-based teaching techniques that allow them to move their classes online effectively and on short notice. Hence, we founded MetaDocencia, an open, free, volunteer-lead, not-for-profit, educational organization and community.
MetaDocencia empowers Spanish-speaking instructors to teach effectively using evidence-based teaching practices. We develop and deliver reusable training resources on concrete and practical student-centered teaching methods. We also nurture an inclusive and collaborative educational community. We achieve our mission with the work of a fast-growing group of volunteers with experience in teaching technical skills, delivering online classes, and working remotely, both locally and globally. We actively participate in and even lead global open communities, such as The Carpentries, LatinR, and R-Ladies Global.
We have largely focused on a 3-hour workshop called “Introduction to Online Teaching Essentials”. This hands-on workshop builds on open educational resources to teach how to run a synchronous classroom and includes practical evidence-based tips for delivering an engaging online class. This is a first-steps workshop where we introduce all the basics from our teaching philosophy (e.g., code of conduct, open licensing, community building, privacy). Participants experience each of our tips and advices starting at pre-registration and stay in touch afterwards through our Slack. Since March 27th, 2020, we taught this workshop 38 times to a large fraction of the 1,100+ Spanish speaking teachers who registered their interest, with over 90% completion rate. All MetaDocencia’s services are free and are carried out through 100% volunteer work, with a small grant by Open Bioinformatics Foundation to cover infrastructure costs.
During this session we will share our experience, hoping that it will enlighten others who are also willing to build open and inclusive communities to improve education.

Learning Outcomes:
Attendants will get practical advice on how to prepare and deliver student-centered online workshops using good teaching practices. They will be presented with open educational resources to directly incorporate in their classrooms and the steps to replicate MetaDocencia in their local communities.

avatar for Nicolas Palopoli

Nicolas Palopoli

Adjunct Researcher, MetaDocencia & Universidad Nacional de Quilmes - CONICET, Argentina
avatar for Elio Campitelli

Elio Campitelli

PhD Student, MetaDocencia & CIMA UBA-CONICET
avatar for Laura Acion

Laura Acion

Adjunct Researcher, MetaDocencia & University of Buenos Aires - CONICET, Argentina
avatar for Paola Corrales

Paola Corrales

Co-founder, MetaDocencia
Paola has a degree in Atmospheric Sciences and is currently doing her PhD at the Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera, UBA-CONICET applying data assimilation techniques to improve short-term forecasts of severe events. Since 2011 she is part of Expedición Ciencia, an NGO dedicated to develop projects that allow people of all ages to learn about scientific thinking, the pleasure of exploration and permanent curiosity. In Expedición Ciencia she leads educational projects such as science camps and workshops for students and teachers.Since 2017... Read More →
avatar for Yanina Bellini Saibene

Yanina Bellini Saibene

Researcher, MetaDocencia & INTA

Thursday November 12, 2020 1:00pm - 1:25pm EST
Concurrent 3
  Strategies, Presentation