No booth, no problem. Online training in interpreting during COVID-19 with Collaborate, Skype and Google Meet
Keywords:COVID-19, interpreting, virtual booth, Collaborate, Skype, Google Meet
COVID-19 has been a turning point in the reality of university teaching. In Spain, as of March 14, 2020, all regulated education began to be taught online (Ministerio de la Presidencia, 2020). For many theoretical subjects this simply meant a change of channel in the transfer of information from teacher to student and in the communication of both, but for practical subjects the problem was much bigger. With no laboratories or clinics to work in (Silió, 2020), teachers had to study all the options that educational institutions made available to them to guarantee the acquisition of content and skills by students.
Simultaneous interpretation teaching was one of the fields affected by the lockdown. The need for tools that would allow the teacher to listen to the students without them being able to listen to each other was beyond the possibilities offered by virtual campuses and, therefore, it was necessary to look for solutions that would allow this subject to be taught with guarantees.
In response to this problem, a study of existing free tools was carried out and we decided to combine the use of well-known platforms in the university environment, such as Collaborate, Skype and Meet and use them in different subjects taught at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. Thanks to these tools, we have been able to create virtual booths and recreate a training environment that has also helped us to introduce aspects of remote interpreting.
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