The title of this piece specifically does not mention teaching because this topic is of global relevance. Although I will bring this back around to the classroom, let’s reflect for a moment on how flexible our lives have become in the past two months. We’re conducting all of our business online or by phone, talking with representatives of large companies who are not in actual call centers but also at home, homeschooling our kids (I, for one, did not sign up for that), cooking ALL THE TIME, and figuring out how to do it all, together, with the people in our homes who sometimes we enjoy taking a break from.
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
We can learn a lot from seasoned online educators. Let’s face it, most of us are not “professionals” when it comes to creating and delivering an online course that would pass muster with Quality Matters — a rigorous certification process that Ecampus uses to distinguish the highest quality online courses from the rest.
Even if our feedback from students is satisfactory, how do we know if our remote classes are really the best they can be, or are there simple aspects to our course design that can be tweaked at Week 5 to make the last half of our classes even better?
An article published by our own Shannon Riggs, Executive Director of Academic Programs and Learning Innovation at OSU-Corvallis in the EDUCAUSE Review last week, encourages all faculty teaching remote to think about teaching from a student-centered perspective. She describes three forms of interaction for students: 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.
- Exam Alternatives
- Canvas Basics
- Communication in Zoom and Canvas
- Academic Honesty in Remote Instruction
- Strategies for Running Synchronous Sessions (Faculty Panel)
- Advanced Zoom
- Building a Flexible, Supportive, Remote Community of Learners (Faculty Panel)
- Efficient Grading in Canvas
I have been reflecting on the types of students we have in our classrooms this term, especially as it relates to their level of “comfort” with technology as their primary tool for learning. “Comfort” is a tricky word in this context. For most of us as instructors, we learned in an environment completely or mostly devoid of technology as we know it today. In middle school, the first PET computer I learned on required me to insert a cassette tape and wait up to an eternity for the program to load. Then came the first Apple computer, dot matrix printers, and the rest is history.
The difference between “then” and “now” is pretty obvious when it comes to technology. Think about the difference though, between Gen Z students and millennial students. The last birth year for millennials is 1996, with Gen Z-ers born in 1997 and beyond. (I’ve heard that those born today may be called “Gen C.” I can’t even imagine what life will be like for them yet). Continue reading