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This guide includes resources for online learning, including course design strategies, assessment alternatives, and technology tips to help you create an engaging experience for your students. Resource selection comes courtesy of and with gratitude to Tess Hardcastle, Matt Austin, Nancy Florio, and Amy Voorhees of Kent School. Thank you!
Key Points to Consider (from Tess)
- Think about your in-person class when developing online content, but acknowledge that you won’t be able to replicate that experience.
- Think about whether it makes more more sense for your students to progress through material at the same time/rate (synchronous) or work at a pace that works with their schedule (asynchronous).
- Whatever you decide (synchronous or asynchronous) try to be present for your students approximately as much as you would be if you were teaching in-person. Email, timely feedback on assignments, and online “office hours” will be helpful.
- Convey your personality/warmth/humor/quirkiness to your students, whether in writing, or video, etc. This is especially important during a time of disruption when our presence can be reassuring/comforting for students.Use “student view” and related features so that you can experience content and materials from your student’s perspective (you can also join a colleague’s course on PowerSchool to get a better idea of how to use it effectively).
- Give your students opportunities to practice using the technology before holding them accountable for an assignment (i.e. an early homework could be a practice Google Hangout before a mandatory discussion).
- Create opportunities for students to interact with each other. They’ll be losing the social element of an in-person class.
- Consider the length of tasks and chunking material into smaller pieces than you would for an in-person class.
- Vary the media and ways you deliver content. Variety will help with student engagement and support students who learn differently; it will also keep your students motivated.
- Be aware of accessibility issues. Yes your students probably have wifi and laptops, but does your material also require them to have certain software already installed on their computers?
Tools for Teaching
Application for reading assignments. Students help each other learn by collectively annotating readings in threads, responding to each other’s comments, and interacting.
Online platform for practicing communication skills in presentations, narrations, etc.
Application for boards, documents, and webpages where students can contribute and collaborate.
Documents on Remote Learning
Want more? Explore a massive and growing list of online teaching/continuity resources being developed by institutions around the world: