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As someone who teaches entirely online, I would like to note that:
- adapting lectures, assignments, activities, etc, for online is A LOT OF WORK
- teaching to a camera is a different skill set that takes practice
- online classes are not a second-rate alternative to IRL classes
For those of you who have just been informed that you are now teaching online, here is a cheesy teaser video for the online class I teach with @SamGoslingPsych that might give you some new ideas about how to structure things
First idea being — can you pair up and co-teach with someone?! Talking with another person is so much more interesting to you and the other students than being on camera solo, and it expands the possibilities of what activities you can do on camera
Second idea — EMBRACE the fact that you will feel awkward and cheesy and just go with it. Put on a skit, act like a bad TV anchorwoman, lecture with a level of enthusiasm that would be embarrassing if someone saw you in real life. Anything less reads as flat flat flat on camera
Third idea — what technological resources are available to you beyond zoom or whatever you’re doing to broadcast class? Can the students be assigned to chat rooms? Can you send out instant polls? Can they do Qualtrics surveys and you show their responses?
Fourth idea— your students are the digital natives and they are used to using technology constantly & seamlessly with their IRL relationships. ASK THEM FOR IDEAS. Any opportunity to bring students in as active partners in their learning experience is a win.
Asking them for ideas will allow you to bring in tech that they are already using. Could one of their assignments be a Tik Tok video? Can you have each student take over the class Twitter for a day?
All of that to say, remember how excited you were when you were a new baby professor and you GOT TO TEACH YOUR OWN CLASS!!! And then you started lecturing and prioritizing your research and you can probably do some of your classes in your sleep now?
This is a weird opportunity to recapture some of that initial excitement and use a different part of your brain and learn a new skill set — so please, if you can, don’t just talk at a Zoom camera. Put some effort into making an online class fun and you might not want to go back
last but not least -- your TAs and support staff will make or break you for a large class. If you're lucky and get people like @stephanie_pdx & @raf_ruffled then thank them, pay them, promote them however you can. And get them to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN so you don't forget it.
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