(updated March 25, 2020)
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Check out Remote Teaching and Learning
This site contains tips to help faculty move their courses online, including broad suggestions about remote pedagogy, advice on scheduling, and strategies for translating specific in-person activities to an online environment. For further assistance, we invite faculty to get in touch with us, and to attend workshops and drop-in sessions run through the DLA and Serie Center. Faculty can also sign up for a Moodle site dedicated to conversation and link-sharing about teaching online,
The shift to virtual: Pedagogical implications and technology resources
As we continue to make changes on campus in response to the spread of the coronavirus, we want to emphasize that this is an important opportunity to be in community and to think collaboratively about the kind of mobilization efforts we need – and are capable of – not only now, but also for other current, emergent, and future challenges or crises we are facing or might face, together. At the bottom of this page are links that offer important context about racism and xenophobia in the face of this public health crisis; what are some other “teachable moments” afforded by this particular situation?
I recently shared some additional perspective about the current moment in which we find ourselves on our listserv. This is definitely a chance to be our most deeply human selves: flexible, patient, kind, and creative. Please extend that to yourself, to your students, and to everyone else around you.
It is useful to think through the pedagogical implications of shifting our classes into a virtual space. What learning goals and assessment strategies might need to be adjusted? What might it mean to think in terms of “learning time” rather than “class time”? How can we best maintain a sense of community in a virtual format? How can you maximize opportunities for meaningful engagement among the students, with the course content, and with you as the instructor when you aren’t physically together?
Suggestions, techniques, and evidence-based strategies for maximizing effective online engagement and learning
- Tips for teaching writing remotely, from our Director of Writing, Brit Abel
- Text of the DLA Team resource email sent from Andrea Kaston Tange to faculty-announce on 3.13.20 (includes key points to keep in mind as you are thinking about this transition, compiled from the wisdom of a number of people who have been doing this work already around the country)
- One consistent piece of advice is to have a plan for how you will communicate with everyone in your class, and for how you will stay in regular contact about what will be happening and how things are going. In addition to practicing with the various technologies, now is also the time to start thinking about how you will welcome students into the virtual space. How will you establish norms and expectations for engagement in that space? Because you are doing something you’ve (likely) never had to to before, and that you did not anticipate, and that you are having to do under intense circumstances with inadequate time to do as well as you’d like to, please do your very best not to worry about trying to do it as well as you’d like to (in fact, here’s an expert’s advice: please do a bad job of putting your course online). For a humorous representation of the current situation, check out “teaching in 2020”
- What matters most for teaching in the age of coronavirus: Our connections with our students
- Another consistent piece of advice: Do as much asynchronously, and with as many “low bandwidth” strategies, as possible, or, as Alison Yang puts it in this infographic, Do This, Not That (pdf)
- Consider embracing “A for All” (a proposal from CUNY faculty), or at least check out the principles behind it
- An excellent set of resources just created by the Modern Languages Association, including strategies for remote instruction and digital engagement, access and equity considerations, and a curated list of a variety of blogs, Twitter threads, etc., that are emerging among academics at the moment.
- Andreas Broscheid, Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation and Political Science professor at James Madison University, built a lovely “going online” site with some useful perspective, directions, and resources, divided into the following sections that capture the key points of her message: You’ve Got This … and You Can Get Help; To Be a Good Teacher, Take Care of Your Own Needs; Take Care of Others as Well / Be Kind to Your Students; Accessibility Is Important; Pedagogical Needs Should Determine Technology; Online, Everything Has to Be More Explicit
- Connecticut College’s Center for Teaching and Learning created 11 Things to Consider When Moving Your Course Online. A highly recommended set of considerations, plus other resources (many of which are included below under specific topics)
- Distance/ Online Teaching Techniques (link to website with extensive resources about making the shift to online/virtual teaching in the context of a small liberal arts college, with thanks to Catherine Shea Sanger of Yale NUS College, Singapore)
- Moving Face-to-Face Courses Online: Learn Together / Be Authentic / Keep it Simple / Demonstrate Compassion
- Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start (a very useful set of suggestions and frameworks for contemplating this shift, by a colleague who engages regularly in online/distance learning; we have much to learn from that community of colleagues at this time). Here is more of their advice:
- The Online Learning Consortium has built a site of resources – OLC Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness – designed to help faculty who are moving from in-person teaching to an online/virtual format.
- 7 Guidelines for Effective Teaching Online
- Advice for Online Teaching
Many schools have developed practices and policies for shifting or adapting teaching in the event of an emergency or other unexpected event. Indiana University offers a range of helpful guidelines and strategies. Members of the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) offer some useful perspective and a range of resources for shifting to online in a hurry / under duress.
If you learn of discipline-specific or other recommendations that would be useful to share in this space, please send them to Joan Ostrove (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Moving fine arts courses to a virtual space
- Resources for Moving Dance-Based Pedagogy Online
- Studio, Performance, and Applied Courses
- Performance alternative ideas from the College Band Directors National Association
Moving laboratory courses to a virtual space
- Crowdsourced document of multiple recommendations for moving to virtual lab instruction
- Pepperdine’s site has a section related to moving labs online
- Advice for moving science labs online from Harvard’s Bok Center
Access, additional support, and equity considerations
- If you know of a student who does not have access to a device that could support the use of Zoom or other relevant technologies, or on which they can write papers or otherwise reasonably do their work away from campus, please encourage them to contact the ITS Help Desk (651-696-6525). The Help Desk will also assist students who will not have access to reliable wifi.
- Disability Services at Mac acknowledges the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online learning models. In collaboration with campus partners, they are building a set of resources and useful information on their Disability Services Faculty website. Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g., students who use assistive technology, have vision- or hearing-based limitations) that may uniquely impact their learning. We are continuously working on how to provide comprehensive online access for all students. The staff are available to collaborate with you and support the transition to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained (please contact them at email@example.com with any questions or concerns). It is quite possible that even with this accelerated timeline for shifting to virtual teaching, the tools you learn will continue to be part of your instructional access in the future.
- Moving classes online: Build in accessibility from the beginning (late-breaking advice from Disability Studies professor Aimi Hamraie)
The MAX Center counselors are ready to help your students. Faculty can contact MAX Center professional staff with any questions and concerns. Please tell students not to contact MAX Center tutors directly for remote or in-person tutoring assistance; instead direct them to the Max Center website. As our services change, we will update the site with the services we can provide.
You may find that the virtual environment offers students who don’t typically participate in class discussion, for example, a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. Please keep track of what you learn from this shift, in case there are strategies that could be implemented to maximize inclusivity and engagement in the “regular” classroom context.
Assessment strategies and concerns
- Go to the “assessing student learning in online classes” pull down on Yale NUS Singapore’s site
- Thoughts in response to faculty concerns about cheating, from Yale NUS Singapore’s Catherine Shea Sanger
Attending to context: Additional resources and perspectives
- Coronavirus Is Prompting Alarm on American Campuses. Anti-Asian Discrimination Could Do More Harm
- NPR Code Switch podcast: When Fear of the Coronavirus Turns into Racism and Xenophobia