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My university just announced that we are shifting all courses #online for several weeks due to #coronavirus. I spent the last month on jury duty & as a result had to unexpectedly move my class online with no notice. I've got some thoughts (thread): #AcademicTwitter #CovidCampus
Before you do anything else, take a minute & look at your syllabus & course schedule. One of the things I realized was that in an online setting there were a number of topics that made more sense in a different order than in the face-to-face scenario I originally laid out. (2/16)
Whatever your course topic is, at some point, you are going to stare into that webcam & think about lecturing for an hour. Don't do it. If you do decide to record a video lecture keep it short. Like under 10 minutes - although the research says they should be even shorter. (3/16)
We often have a tendency to think 1 class session = 1 video. Don't fall into this trap. Teaching online is a great opportunity to rethink how you teach a topic from first principles. Find the mini-lectures within the larger topic and break them out. (4/16)
Many of you might not need to record any video lectures, because you will be able to meet with your students live in real-time in a virtual classroom...don't talk at them for an hour straight in this space either. (5/16)
Even with a virtual classroom full of live students, it's easier to fall into the 1-way lecture trap than you might think. Particularly if your students have their cameras turned off (which they might for bandwidth issues) It's important to remember they are actually there (6/16)
Anything you can do in a face-to-face class (discussions, small group conversations, think-pair-share, #activelearning exercises, etc) you can do a version of in a virtual space. And, frankly I sometimes prefer doing these things virtually because of the different dynamic. (7/16)
The 'breakout room' feature in most platforms allows me to instantly & randomly put my students into their own rooms for small group discussions. Often I drop a link to a google doc in the breakout room's chat book with some discussion questions on it. (8/16)
In groups I have them collaboratively fill out the sheet as a way to guide their conversation. While they do this, I can jump between breakout rooms, the same way I would between groups in a physical space. Then, we come back together & they report out to the entire class. (9/16)
There is also the #officehours question. In my experience drop-in office hours on things like skype don't work well. I end up spending my time on a call with a student typing in the chat to another student saying "No I cant answer your call. I'm with another student." (10/16)
If you don't have one already, now is the time to sign up for a free scheduling service like @YouCanBookMe. Set one up and have your students sign up for 15-minute windows. You may even end up keeping it long after the coronavirus is gone. (11/16)
Ultimately, you are likely going to make changes to your course. Be intentional about letting your students in on those changes. This is a weird time from both a faculty and student perspective & getting buy-in from your students is important. (12/16)
I'm a big proponent of "showing my work" to my students. If I change an assignment, schedule, etc. I am explicit about letting my students in on my logic. These are moments to be honest & transparent in both our struggles adapting & in hearing our students' struggles. (13/16)
In this light, we also all need to take a moment and think about how the changes we make are going to impact our students' #access to our courses. Already there are some amazing #accessibilty in virtual spaces resources being shared with the #CovidCampus hashtag (14/16)
Finally, as someone who works in a faculty dev center & has administered enterprise software at a university, I want to take a moment & remind everyone that there are countless unsung university staff that are (& have been) hustling overtime to figure out these solutions. (15/16)
They are here to help, but help them by making their job slightly easier. If they take the time write a 1-sheet, make a website, post an FAQ, record a tutorial... check that out first... then call the helpline. (16/16).
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