Adrià Martín, Director of the Degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences at the Salt Campus of the Escola Universitària de la Salut i l’Esport explains in this interview how the online classes are going and also how both teachers and students have adapted to the new methodologies. Adrià Martín has a degree in CAFyD and a Master in Political Science from the UAB. He is a member of the committee of experts of the Catalan Sports Observatory, of the board of directors of the Spanish Association of Social Research Applied to Sport (AEISAD) and is currently working on his doctoral thesis “Factors in sports policy leading to the international success of Paralympic sport”.
How are the online classes working?
Pretty normally. It is a new situation and as such we have all had to adapt together, both the teaching staff and the students as well as the research staff. But this new development also allows us to identify new opportunities for new learning systems, new methods … and this means that everyone, in this new process of adaptation, is growing. At the moment we are having very positive feedback from these virtual classes. At EUSES we have acquired a license for the Zoom platform and at the moment the classes are being developed through this platform and it allows us to interact with the students one on one.
Has the rapid adaptation been complicated for the teaching staff?
For the teachers it is a different contextual situation taking into account that the classes are being carried out in a virtual way. And not only the classes, but also the follow-up, the tutorials, solving the doubts that the students have? And this is also a challenge. At the moment we have been in a non-presential situation for a few weeks and this means that many of the teachers have had to adapt to this new reality. This is allowing us to learn about other formats, other ways of teaching, other ways of approaching activities and tasks. I believe that we are achieving this in a satisfactory manner. We are very happy with all the involvement of the teachers and I think that all together we will be able to get out of this situation guaranteeing a good learning process.
What are the students’ feelings?
For them it is also a challenge, since many of the subjects were done in a practical context of field, track or pool. And at the moment we find that these contents are being given in a virtual format. This means that students have also had to adapt quickly and also take on more autonomy in their learning process. We are very happy with their involvement within this complex situation because we are receiving very good predisposition and participation. It is a context of opportunities and we are all learning.
How has your day-to-day life changed as the director of the degree?
In particular, I am finding this situation to be a challenge, especially professionally. I am learning new work systems, new systems to develop teaching and also to carry out meetings. Somehow, this difficult situation is forcing us to leave our comfort zone and this teaches us new things. Therefore, it is being positive. One aspect that I highlight, to give an example, would be the increasingly close relationship with the student: we have established weekly meetings with the delegates and a whatsapp group to interact more quickly for the most urgent aspects. I think that this section is a positive element of this whole contextual situation. And in adverse contexts we have to take advantage of these opportunities to learn new ways of doing things.
What advice would you currently give to students in the grade?
I would like to send the message to CAFyD students that we are now being presented with new opportunities that we need to take advantage of. We are fully aware that we are asking for more autonomy and more work capacity from the students, but they have to think that they are for their own benefit. This is a time for students to acquire new knowledge and more skills. And this situation, which is now an obstacle, must be a challenge and a reason for growth for all of us. Therefore, I encourage all the students to continue to grow.