As educators across the country and at all levels rush to shift their teaching to a virtual environment, their first focus is content and delivery—rightly so. Faculty also need to know how to identify online at-risk student behaviors that, if mitigated, can lead to better course outcomes and satisfaction for faculty and students, alike.Thissessionwill help you identify ways to proactively keep your students engaged in an online environment (course) and understand what data you can use to help mitigate attrition.
The Coulter Faculty Commons has developed a planning organizer for faculty use for the remaining spring 2020 term.
The simple Word document contains weekly dates and boxes for each week remaining in the term. Faculty can use the document to notate “before” activities and “now” activities–to help them reflect on prior activities and chart a path forward, now that instruction is moving online.
Faculty can download the documents below. It comes in two forms–for a single course, and for a five-load course.
It is easy to just assume that you will be able to have live class sessions online using Zoom at the same time and day they have been scheduled, but that will not produce a good learning experience for the students, nor will it be pleasant for you as the instructor. We gathered a couple of really good posts that align with our approach to moving online quickly.
As Rebecca Barrett-Fox says “You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.” ~https://anygoodthing.com/2020/03/12/please-do-a-bad-job-of-putting-your-courses-online/
And we like her list of 10 considerations:
Your students know less about technology than you think. Many of them know less than you. Yes, even if they are digital natives and younger than you.
They will be accessing the internet on their phones. They have limited data. They need to reserve it for things more important than online lectures.
Students who did not sign up for an online course have no obligation to have a computer, high-speed wifi, a printer/scanner, or a camera. Do not even survey them to ask if they have it. Even if they do, they are not required to tell you this. And if they do now, that doesn’t mean that they will when something breaks and they can’t afford to fix it because they just lost their job at the ski resort or off-campus bookstore.
Students will be sharing their technology with other household members. They may have LESS time to do their schoolwork, not more.
Many will be working MORE, not fewer, hours. Nurses, prison guards, firefighters, and police officers have to go to work no matter what. As healthcare demand increases but healthcare workers get sick, there will be more and more stress on those who remain.
Some of your students will get sick. Others will be caring for people who are ill.
Many will be parenting.
Social isolation contributes to mental health problems.
Social isolation contributes to domestic violence.
Students will be losing their jobs, especially those in tourism and hospitality.
Other recommendations she puts forward that we promote as well:
“Don’t do too much. Right now, your students don’t need it. They need time to do the other things they need to do.”
Make all assignments due at 11:59 pm on the same day of the week. Make them due on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. instead of Friday so that they use the evenings and week-end to get work done.
Allow students to take every exam or quiz twice so that if there is a technical problem (such as getting kicked out of the LMS), they will have another opportunity to complete the exam.
Record lectures only if you need to. But use the TED talk method: no longer than 18 minutes and focused on one concept, big question or idea.
Don’t fuss over videos. Don’t worry about your ums and ers. It helps if you write a script (also provides a transcript for ADA purposes) and read through it a few times. Then practice 5 times just the first few sentences or first few slides. That will get you into the recording without the jumpstarts we do at the start.
Do NOT require synchronous work! Students’ life and schedules have been turned upside-down as well. A good use of Zoom or Bb Collaborate is to use it for office hours or tutoring sessions. But make it optional.
Do not use proctoring or ask students to record themselves when taking a test. This is a violation of their privacy and they did not sign up for an online course.
Remind them of due dates. This is not hand-holding!! They need contact from you and as we said before, their lives have been turned upside down. Be kind to them and kind to yourself. Be supportive and encouraging, Be a mentor and coach!
Respond to them when they ask for help. These are anxious times and they will need encouragement.
We will continue to share quick tips and helpful resources over the next few weeks!
Student needs are changing during this move to offering alternative modes of instruction. Faculty who want to find out what challenges students are facing can utilize a new web form created in Office365.
The form can be modified by faculty prior to sending out. The survey should take students 5 minutes to complete, and asks for the following types of information:
whether students expect to have reliable Internet access
times of day students expect to do online work
preferences for asynchronous or synchronous activity
accessibility requests (content in different formats, for example)
basic psychological and physiological needs
The survey form is available below. Note the options for modifying the survey questions, collecting data, and sending out the link (the Settings icon can be found top-right of your screen, to the right of the Share button).
Designing Assignments for Your Blended and Online Courses
When setting up assignments for courses that we teach either blended or completely online, you may want to consider what information the learners may need regarding the assignment that would be similar to what we might offer in a face-to-face classroom. The information may include a wide variety of communication tools such as announcements, instruction documents, rubrics, email, etc. that will hopefully guide our learners to reach or surpass the desired learning objective of the assignment.
It is clear to us why we have included an assignment into our respective courses. However, it may not always be clear to all of our learners and it may be necessary to provide some information about why and how the assignment helps to achieve a certain learning objective. This most likely does not need to be a lengthy discourse but rather something short and sweet to help tie the learning objective to the assignment.
As you create assignments for our classes, below is a checklist of some things that you may want to consider as you design your assignments.
Is the assignment written clearly on the board or on a handout?
Do the instructions explain the purpose(s) of the assignment?
Does the assignment fit the purpose?
Is the assignment stated in precise language that cannot be misunderstood?
If choices are possible, are these options clearly marked?
Are there instructions for the appropriate format? (examples: length? typed? cover sheet? type of document?)
Are there any special instructions, such as use of a particular citation format or kinds of headings? If so, are these clearly stated?
Is the due date clearly visible? (Are late assignments accepted? If so, any penalty?)
Are any potential problems anticipated and explained?
Are the grading criteria spelled out as specifically as possible? How much does content count? Organization? Writing skills? One grade or separate grades on form and content? Etc.
Does the grading criteria section specifically indicate which writing skills the teacher considers important as well as the various aspects of content?
What part of the course grade is this assignment?
Does the assignment include use of models (strong, average, weak) or samples outlines?
If you would like additional information about creating assignments for blended or online classes, please do not hesitate to contact the CFC.