Now, more than two years into the Coronavirus Pandemic, universities appear to have fully adapted to the online learning system to accommodate student’s learning activities. Even under the pandemic limitations, it is not impossible to develop the students’ learning quality. Many programs may have come to a hold; however, it is possible to overcome those limitations with the help of technology. With the increase of online learning platforms and their efficiency, students are able to enjoy campus activities from the comfort of their homes. The Chemistry Education Department at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia has successfully utilized technology to hold several online activities amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2021.
Chemistry EXPO is one of the major annual activities conducted by the Chemistry Students Association. The Chemistry EXPO has been successfully held for 24 times. This year, the theme of the Chemistry EXPO is “RESONANCE: Chemistry’s Contribution on Healthcare and Education toward Society 5.0”. Eligible participants of this EXPO varied from high school students to teachers depending on the kind of event. The Chemistry EXPO consisted of several events such as ASTRA (Asah Terampil Kimia), Chemistry Creative Contest, Chemistry Teaching Contest, Open Laboratory, National – International Seminar, and Exhibition Chemistry.
CST (Chemistry Spo[a]rt Tournament)
After the series of events at Chemistry EXPO, another activity was held by the Chemistry Students Association. CST (Chemistry Spo[a]rt Tournament) is an event aimed at the students of Chemistry Education Department. CST consisted of several competitions such as Mobile Legend Tournament, Drawing Competition, Poster Design Competition, Poetry Competition, Photography Competition, Workout Challenge, and Song Cover.
In the middle of this Coronavirus Pandemic, the whole CST event was fully organized online. Luckily there were no competitions that required direct contact with other competitors. The chemistry students seemed enthusiastic throughout the whole CST event for their desire to compete and win was really big.
The Chemistry Students Association put in their all for the success of CST. They wanted to create an event where their fellow chemistry students could enjoy themselves aside from the mountain of homework and assignments. The whole process wasn’t always smooth; there were twists and turns, but CST ended without an issue.
“CST made me have mixed feelings, happiness, sadness, excitement and even anxiety.” said Risdan, a member of the CST committee.
Visiting Professor Lectures The Chemistry Education Department invited lecturers from various universities abroad to teach online classes at UPI. This is a part of the Visiting Professor Series
supported by KEMDIKBUD RISTEKDIKTI through the World Class University Grant. The online classes with the visiting lecturers were held via zoom platform and live streamed via YouTube for the public. Some of the classes have ended, but a few are still ongoing. It is such a valuable opportunity for students to be thought by those lecturers. Being able to learn the knowledge from overseas scholars would certainly broaden their horizon.
In this semester, many visiting lecturers are from different universities abroad covering various subjects in the chemistry curriculum: first, Dr. Shangeetha Ganesan from Universiti Sains Malaysia covering Chemical Kinetics, second, Assoc. Prof. Mageswary Karpudewan, Ph.D. from Universiti Sains Malaysia covering Research Methodology in Chemistry Education, third, Prof. Supa Hannongbua from Kasetsart University covering Computational Chemistry, fourth, Prof. Naresh Kumar from University of New South Wales covering Organic Chemistry, and lastly, Prof. Lee Wah Lim from Gifu University covering Separation Chemistry.
Still amidst the raging Coronavirus Pandemic, the Chemistry Education Department held their graduations online via zoom platform. A total of three waves of virtual graduation were held this year. There were many differences in every wave of virtual graduation ceremony, such as the theme, technical preparations, and the amount of participants.
There are many sections in the rundown of virtual graduation ceremonies. The amount of sections varied depending on the planning and the theme. Although it may not be the same as an offline graduation, the committee really did their best to provide a memorable virtual graduation for the graduates. Many lecturers also did not fail to attend and congratulate their students.
The second wave of graduation had the least participants among the three waves. This second wave of graduation could be called a small event compared to other waves of graduation. According to the chief committee, this wave of graduation ceremony was easier to handle due to the small amount of graduates.
“Other graduations must be much longer because of the high number of graduates. Furthermore, offline graduations will also take longer because of the complicated preparation for technical things; online graduation is more practical.” said Dwi Putri, the Chief Committee of the Second Wave of Chemistry Education Department’s Graduation Ceremony.
As long as the Coronavirus Pandemic is still ongoing, most campus activities onward will likely be held online. Even though the situation and vibes might not be the same as having offline activities on campus, it will still be memorable and fun. The Chemistry Students Association and the Chemistry Education Department’s Staff members really wish to give the students a wonderful online campus experience, in hopes that the students could happily enjoy their studies at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. (Dilah Ratna Kartika, Mahasiswa Bahasa dan Sastra Inggris, FPBS UPI)