Tomas Bata University in Zlín

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U3A Students Are Educated via the Internet

Ban on public assembly, recommended stay at home, closed schools… Although it might seem that the pandemic situation would make it impossible to organize classes especially for the elderly, the opposite was true. Students of the University of the Third Age are educated at our University even during the Coronavirus period – at home via the Internet.

For example, in the course in Human and Health – Psychology, PhDr. Jiří Hřebíček, the course’s guarantor, prepared both presentations and one video tutorial per week for the U3A students. “Senior students were given regular tasks – to prepare an answer to a question related to the topic of the lecture, and send it to a separate e-mail box. The students’ reactions were amazing – many of them were very eager to start installing the necessary software on their computers first,” says Ing. Jarmila Hřebíčková, U3A coordinator, and adds: “The first task to be fulfilled by the students required finding 3 positive things about the current situation. This assignment had a great deal of resonance among senior students.”

Teachers in other courses were also in touch with students via e-mail, sending them presentations or videos; students of the advanced computer course took classes through the Teams app. At first, the situation was more difficult in courses focusing on practical skills such as visual arts, calligraphy, digital photography. However, a way was found – students prepared at home, made drawings and took pictures according to the topics assigned, communicating electronically with the lecturers.

And what did the students think of this type of classes? “You have come up with an amazing thing (…). You provide valuable information and you raise my spirits,” said Ing. Júlia Zezulková, to name one example. Meanwhile, Irena Brzáková says: “Thank you so much for the idea of sending lectures in this form. At this time, it is very nice to have contact with the U3A.”

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