We hope you are continuing to adjust to our new teaching environment by coping with the challenges and looking for the new opportunities that it may provide.
We want to remind you that LEARN and LTC are hosting a weekly webinar series through the end of the semester called “Teaching Talk”! Our first episode from last Friday is available here. The first week’s topics included a discussion of the pros and cons of synchronous delivery, logistical tips for facilitating a large Webex meeting, and encouragement to be flexible with both your students and yourself. Remember, you don’t need to (and really can’t!) recreate your face-to-face class in an online setting.
During this week’s webinar we’ll share some quick tips around emerging topics that we see coming into our offices and facilitate a conversation where instructors can reflect on their remote teaching, share challenges, and exchange ideas. Mark your calendars to join us for Teaching Talk – Episode 2 on Friday, April 10, from 1-2 p.m. here: https://uww.webex.com/meet/webern. Registering on the signup tool is appreciated, but not required. If you are unable to attend, but would like to watch the session at a later time we will add the recording to the Teaching Remotely site.
As you continue planning and facilitating your alternative delivery, here are a couple of quick tips:
- Be prepared. Things may not always go the way you plan. While synchronous sessions (i.e. Webex-based meetings) are great for connecting with students, keep in mind that students may not have great internet connections which could impact their audio and video quality. If this happens in your session, recommend to students that they turn off their video when they are not needed. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B for getting materials and content to students.
- Be open to change.Think about your course objectives and the best way to reach them in alternative delivery. Many instructors have shared that they are doing short asynchronous lectures (e.g., 5 minute videos) on a topic and saving Webex meetings for discussion and sharing around the concept. Individualized assignments for students to apply what they are learning could also be helpful. When assigning work, please remember to stay flexible as it might be very difficult for some students to meet deadlines if they are ill, don’t have access to reliable internet, or if they are working more than usual in an essential position. In the end, keep things as simple as you can!
- Be in contact. Have you had some form of contact with each of your students (emails, assignments turned in, phone calls or chats on Canvas)? If not, consider reaching out using a phone call or mail a note with an included self-addressed return envelope. They may not have internet access, or they may be having some other issue. If you’re not getting any responses within 2 weeks or so, please reach out to the Dean of Students office or the CARE team through the reporting form.
As always, the LTC and LEARN are here to support you!
- The LTC is available to help you transition things you may have done face-to-face to alternate delivery, as well as help you with our different technology tools that support remote teaching and learning. The LTC is available Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via phone (262-472-1004) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- The LEARN Center is available to discuss options and new ideas for activities or assessments via email (email@example.com). You can also reach the LEARN Center via phone (262-472-5134).
Heather Pelzel (LEARN Center Director)
Nicole Weber (Director of Learning Technology)