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My institution is moving to #onlinecourses. In preparation, my students had the following suggestions. Not every strategy is going to work for every class, but here goes. 100 percent of credit goes to my Disability Memoir students (for context, we're a 15 person class):
Zoom is amazing for synchronous engagement. There's a whiteboard function and a share screen for PPTs. This service is great for 1:1 and group meetings as well. (IMO, moving forward any institution using Zoom should prioritize training).
For asynchronous teaching, instructors can create videos and send them to students. When I've taught online for another institution, I've made 5-8 minute mini videos focusing on key concepts and themes. I've shared them via Carmen, which I find to be a fairly intuitive platform.
Prompts to facilitate discussion. Every LMS I know has a discussion board section. You can post a prompt/class and have students post and reply to each other. Maintain a schedule for when prompts are posted/due. Posts can include a critical question to generate conversation.
Or you can assign one discussion board post/student, so it's like having a discussion leader. That student is then responsible for facilitating discussion with their classmates (with instructor input, of course).
GOOGLE DOCS is our friend! One student suggested one doc/class, and then students can go in and add notes and pose questions. This can happen over real time or over a contained period.
Another student suggested assigning a section of the reading to each student (we are reading full-length memoirs) and have that student write a response and pose questions tied to that particular section. Maintain all of this in one google doc designated to that book.
I teach writing classes so there's mandatory peer review. In fact, I'm adding peer review for an introductory portion of a scaffolded assignment so students can work with each other THROUGHOUT the assignment as opposed to just reviewing a draft of the final.
You can make a Facebook group for your class (I was surprised how many students were game for this!) and then they can chat with each other/the instructor through the messenger app. The group chat function can work as well.
Every student should be required to "meet" with me 1:1 for a conversation about the final (or anything else).
The class can make a group chat over phone. This could be an excellent resource for questions like, "what page are we supposed to read to?" Quick engagement when access to a computer is limited (again this is much easier for a small class).
Maintain a calendar for students with EVERY deadline. This way some students can move at their own pace, and can anticipate what is coming next.
Provide specific times for when you will be available for student meetings, or will definitively be checking email. I've used google chat as well to "meet" with students.
Check if college libraries will be open & what resources students will have access to while classes are moved online. See if there is a LibGuide for your subject. THANK YOU COLLEGE LIBRARIANS. Even if libraries aren't open, a quick list of resources for research could be useful.
"Look for sources near you, like your local public library," one student suggested. I love this suggestion <3.
Be flexible. We can't assume all students will be able to access the material at the same time. There's childcare, different time zones, medical appointments. Archive anything that happens synchronously.
Include as many pet images as possible.

(ok-this is my suggestion).
Speaking of images! Ensure all of your materials are accessible to students with various learning styles and needs.

Here's an article where I discuss this:

insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/0…
Three "A" strategies that have helped me consider my approach to online teaching:

1) Anticipation
2) Accommodation
3) Access
4) Adaptation
5) Agency

How can students be involved in the curation of an online course? What can we anticipate? What should we adapt?
Your online class is not going to be a replication of your face to face class. That would be impossible. But also...hear me out here...consider what is now POSSIBLE through this new platform.
I hope some of these suggestions are useful. I might add more as I learn through my own process of teaching Disability Memoir as an online class. My students are amazing. Dynamic teaching and discussion is possible.
Sending love to all my fellow educators who are making a rapid transition. I'd love to know what is working/not working for you as we move through this process.
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