Teaching and Learning Continuity
Teaching and Learning Considerations for moving courses online in a contingency situation
1: Focus on the Learning Outcomes. Take a step back and consider the overall objectives and learning outcomes for the class. Ask yourself what learning and skills should students be able to demonstrate by the end of the course. To what degree have students demonstrated the course outcomes? Ensure the syllabus to focuses on the essential learning and assessment needed to fulfill the overall objectives.
2: Determine needed adjustments to course delivery. Given the situation, what adjustments are necessary to focus students and their efforts on the essential knowledge and skills? Be honest with yourself regarding your comfort, confidence, and effectiveness with technology tools. The goal is to facilitate student learning in the best way possible.
Communication with students: When moving online, communication needs to be MORE FREQUENT using a consistent communication channel. A Canvas announcement is recommended. And, clarify how you want students to communicate with you.
Centralized "class location": Students need a one-stop-shop for your course. Students should only go to one location for both course delivery content as well as assignments.
Class time: Consider maintaining your current lecture/class time schedule. For instructors who have never taught online, start with live sessions and Zoom record the sessions for posting after class. Produced, asynchronous material takes considerable time to develop. Live video sessions are the most natural starting point because they create a proxy for the classroom environment. Using Zoom within Canvas allows for seamless recording and posting of lectures. Focus on continuity with tools you feel are reliable and user friendly.
TIP: Use the first online class session as a "practice day". Give students the first 10-15 minutes to log in to Zoom through Canvas. Allow students to ask questions about using Zoom.
TIP: Memory research indicates students retain infomation more effectively when it is broken into 'chunks' and assessed formatively. In the online environment, try shorter chunks of content and skills and give short quizzes on chunks for enhanced student engagement and learning.
3: Adjust assignments and assessments to the online environment. You may have to adjust assignments and assessments to transition to an online environment. Consider how the adjustments will change the final grade calculations, and how student grades may be impacted by assignment/assessment shifts at the end of the semester. Review the settings for Canvas gradebook to ensure the gradebook is contstructed to accurately represent grade structures for the course.
4: Transparency, Transparency, Transparency. Clearly communicate changes to course syllabus and schedule in writing to students through a Canvas announcements or email. Consistency and structure are important.