Thank you to Melinda Knapp, Senior Instructor in the MAT program for sharing her thoughts and expertise this week!

The purpose of this blog is to share my use of Google Slides and Jamboard to engage students with one another and with the content of the course. These tools are user friendly and all OSU faculty and students have free access.

My first reaction was shock when the COVID-19 crisis hit and we learned Spring term would be taught remotely. Almost overnight the technology community stepped in to offer free trials, webinars, and tutorials for the online tools they were offering—so many choices! There were help sessions for Zoom, Kaltura, and the like. Colleagues said, “pre-record your lectures, have online discussion boards, and voice-over your PowerPoint slides.” Some said we should teach asynchronously and others said teach synchronously. I was paralyzed by the number of choices. I struggled to conceptualize a way to recreate my face-to-face courses in this new online environment.

My orientation to teaching and learning centers on situated learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and embraces a sociocultural view of learning. I see knowledge as being defined and agreed upon by a society or community. Sociocultural theorists believe that learning happens as a result of social interactions and takes place within a specific cultural environment (Bates, 2019; Leonard, 2002; Nagel, 2012). Continue reading

The OSU Instructional Support teams have really stepped up and used this opportunity to strengthen the cadre of resources available to faculty to support teaching excellence. They are now putting out bi-weekly “Timely Teaching Tips” with new ideas for you to consider implementing in your classes and timely reminders to help keep both faculty and students as engaged as possible while we’re remote. Here is a list of recorded training sessions as well as the Timely Teaching Tips for weeks 4 & 5! I especially like the reminder to solicit mid-term teaching feedback (you can set up a non-grading, anonymous survey using the “quiz” feature in Canvas), how students can set up remote study groups, and the instructions for creating rubrics to grade work submitted through Canvas. Rubrics are extremely helpful for students to understand how they will be assessed and make your grading work much easier and more objective.

Recorded Sessions

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The last three weeks have been…interesting. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be where we are, but nonetheless, here we are. My inbox has been flooded with questions from students, questions from faculty, strategies from teaching organizations and our Center for Teaching and Learning, IT, OSU-Cascades’ Leadership, and the Provost’s office. My head has mostly been spinning trying to reconcile all of these “tips and best practices” with actually delivering an individual lecture to my students in a way that will keep them engaged and learning. The implementation of the strategies is what ultimately matters the most.

At this point in our collective “learning how to do this,” I would like to provide a platform for us to share with each other what we are doing as an OSU-Cascades faculty, to engage with and teach our students. Please share freely what you have learned during this past week of content delivery that might help someone else. What did you plan or try that bombed and what has been successful so far? What will you change and how will you do it better? What are you planning to do that you would like some feedback on?

Please share anything from a technology tip to a paradigm shift. You can click “reply” and post to the blog page, OR you can email me directly and I will compile a list this week. I will share our collective thoughts via email or something else internal for those who don’t want their comments publicly viewable. If you have a document to share I will post it to Box for the group to access. Let’s hear it!

We are fortunate at OSU to have a robust Center for Teaching and Learning with skilled support staff to help us prepare our courses for delivery in multiple modalities. If you have not yet explored some of these options, please do this NOW in preparation for Spring term so that you’re ready to launch your class in a revised format if needed:

For a FULL list of ideas and resources, please visit: https://learn.oregonstate.edu/keep-teaching. Continue reading

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech, in addition to its poignant message, also serves as an effective recipe for what constitutes a great speech. If he would have begun his speech with something like, “Today I would like to outline for you a five-point plan to end racism in the United States,” as if he was presenting a Powerpoint with learning outcomes, I doubt this speech would have gone down in history as a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Like all good orators, Dr. King began this speech with a statement that absolutely grabbed his listeners’ attention. He began,

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” Continue reading