A new guide helps faculty plan equitable online courses for fall — from diverseeducation.com by Sara Weissman; guide from Every Learner Everywhere, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU). With thanks to Ray Schroeder for the resource.

Excerpt:

A new guide for faculty, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to help professors plan their online courses for fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The faculty playbook, called “Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19,” came out of a collaboration between Every Learner Everywhere, a network of non-profits focused on student outcomes, and two of its member organizations, the Online Learning Consortium and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Their aim is to offer equity-minded online education strategies, especially for faculty who made their first foray into online education this year.

[Dr. Karen Vignare] sees the guide as a “concise” way to bring best practices together and to offer tools for “optimized online instruction,” she said.

The playbook is designed so that “you can really just dive in and get what you need,” she said. “You don’t have to read the whole thing from start to finish.”

Faculty playbook for online instruction -- concise, and meant to deliver education equitably

Faculty Playbook's Table of Contents -- Summer 2020

 

Also see:

Time For Class: COVID-19 Edition

 

Turns out you can build community in a Zoom classroom — from chronicle.com by Rachel Toor
A professor finds that personal essays are surprisingly effective in building relationships in a synchronous virtual classroom

Excerpt:

Over the course of the quarter, they got to know one another by reading those sandbox essays. The writing became more vulnerable, more authentic, and, frankly, a whole lot better. That was a function of learning tools and tricks from published writing, but also of getting more comfortable using their own voices.

Next fall I will continue to use the sandbox. The spring semester taught me other lessons, too, about how to help students adjust to one another in a synchronous classroom, and to a professor they’ve never met in person. Here are some other things I want to remember to do when we are once again online.

 

Fully Explain Concepts with The Frayer Model — from byrdseed.com

Excerpt:

Four Pieces
There are four pieces to the Frayer Model. When we introduce a concept to students, we will include:

  • Definition
  • Essential Characteristics
  • Examples.
  • Non-Examples are things that this term or concept do not apply to. I love non-examples and they’re such an underutilized way to clear up a definition!

 

 

What NOT to do when putting your classes online — from evolllution.com by
Ted Cross & Sunil Ramlall (Western Governors University)

Excerpt:
For example, a study by Ramlall & Ramlall (2016) identified the following factors in helping maximize success and satisfaction in a course.

  1. Faculty are visible in the discussions and respond to each student at least once.
  2. Feedback on assignments should be given within three or four days after the assignment’s due date.
  3. Faculty challenge students’ thinking and comments in class discussions.
  4. They provide individual feedback and specific, personalized comments.
  5. They provide qualitative and quantitative feedback.
  6. They share personal experiences and examples.
  7. They reflect on the literature or at least share a relevant citation from which students can gain deeper insights.
  8. They provide weekly announcements on what will be covered for the week and highlight the transition from the previous week

Put yourself in the student’s shoes and walk through every aspect of the course from their perspective. Ask yourself what a student would need to know to be successful.

 

What NOT to do when designing and building your online-based course

 

What will learning look like this fall? — excerpt and resources below are from Instructure’s Canvas CSM June 2020 Newsletter

Institutions across the world are preparing for the upcoming school year with the “new normal.” Educators have been sharing their successes, lessons learned, and new initiatives. Explore these resources on bringing the classroom environment online:

 

To provide the best learning environment while keeping everyone safe, WMU-Cooley Law School made the decision to continue teaching classes ONLINE for the Fall 2020 semester.

 

From DSC:
We at the WMU-Cooley Law School are working hard to enhance and expand our teaching toolboxes, so that we can pivot as necessary in the future. 

DanielChristian-EnhancingOurTeachingToolboxes.jpg

Whether we need to deliver our cognitive-science based, modern legal education via 100% online-based means, or whether it’s a blended/hybrid approach, or whether it’s 100% face-to-face again at some point in the future, we need to be ready for multiple methods and modes of teaching and learning. 

 

 

But I have to say, the work is hard. There are more and different kinds of people on the front lines of this Covid-19 situation than just the wonderful folks in healthcare. Many Instructional Designers (IDs), Information Technology (IT)-related staff, faculty members, and members of administration and are working overtime, all-the-time. It’s not easy. That said, I do believe that there will be some silver linings in this situation. Many faculty members are coming to appreciate the teaching and learning power of some of these tools — and will likely integrate several of these new tools/methods even if and when they return to our face-to-face-based classrooms.

 

Everything you need to know about animation-based learning — from elearningindustry.com by Huong Giang Bui
When people talk about education, they often stress the formal side of learning like delivering knowledge, getting high scores on exams, etc. But animation-based education is here to up the game, with animation you can get fun, practical, and informative learning all at the same time!

Excerpt:

What Is Animation-Based Learning?
While it sounds like it, animation-based learning is not all about visual materials. Rather, resources such as videos, infographics, and GIFs are used in tandem with existing resources when employing this method. This can be applied to many different fields, from scientific visualizations to corporate training schemes; from motion-graphic narratives used in primary courses to university-level demonstrations.

 

 


Below is a snapshot from a video that
Kim O’Leary, Professor at the WMU-Cooley Law School did regarding the topic of giving (and receiving) individualized feedback.

As a relevant aside here, I want to send a shout out to Kim, as she is incredibly devoted to the craft of teaching and learning and to developing solid, competent learners and lawyers. She is a fantastic professor, as well as a caring, hard-working person — an excellent colleague whom I’m very grateful to have the privilege of working alongside.

Daniel: Do our learning environments and systems promote our students' self-motivation? I don't think so. No way.

When I saw this quote from Thomas Friedman, I wondered…

  • Are our school systems creating students who are self-motivated?

Sorry…but my answer (based on what my own learning experiences in K-16 were like as well as from having observed the learning experiences of our three kids) was, “No way…at least not yet.” And the ramifications of this are getting increasingly serious as our kids need to be able to navigate an often chaotic, quickly-changing world from here on out.

  • We don’t offer nearly enough learner agency.
  • We create gameplayers who only focus on grades.
  • We tell students what to learn.
  • We don’t offer nearly enough choice and control to students.

 

 

Per Kim O’Leary, here are some resources re: the topic of giving/receiving feedback:

 

Other items re: feedback worth checking out:

How ‘Learning Engineering’ Hopes to Speed Up Education — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One insight Lepper brought is that when education software tools simply list all the errors students made and points out what they should have done instead, what many end up hearing is, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.” For students, this is a discouraging engagement, Lepper says.

“That kind of feedback would be perfect if you had a robot learner on the other end,” he says. “The robot learner would be delighted to have you say, ‘Okay, you made three errors in problem number one,’ and being a robot learner, they’d be able to take out those bugs and do better the next time. Real kids, especially real kids who are kind of phobic about math and who think they can’t do it, they leave and say, ‘See I can’t do it.’”

Don’t water down feedback to your student — from teachingprofessor.com by John Orlando

RetrievalPractice.org/feedback

From OLC session “Carl Rogers, Teaching Presence, and Student Engagement in Online Learning” Cheng-Chia (Brian) Chen, Denise Bockmier-Sommers, & Karen Swan (emphasis DSC)

  • Use student’s first name in feedback
  • Speak directly to them
  • Paraphrase their words
  • Provide video feedback
  • Sandwich method — Include the strengths of student’s reasoning or responses in addition to your constructive critique(s)
  • Acknowledge student contributions
  • Let them know you care and appreciate them
  • What’s timely feedback? The quicker the better, but whatever your availability is, tell what students can expect, and stick to that. Put that into your syllabus along with communication methods (email, LMS message, phone, other)

Leveraging Feedback Experiences in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Erin Crisp

4 dimensions of feedback

Here are some design tips to increase the probability for success.

  • Structure the course so that there are opportunities for instructors and peers to provide formative feedback several weeks before final projects/papers are due.
  • Identify key time frames in the course when instructors will be heavily engaged in providing written or video feedback that is individualized and moves the learning forward.
  • Create a bank of content-specific feedback comments that instructors can use for common issues and errors.
  • If end-of-course survey evaluations are low, implement strategies to provide feedback that directly connects to learners as individuals.
  • If you teach and grade papers in a professional discipline, provide feedback related to the course and program learning outcomes, and focus less on grammar and language usage.
 

Flipped Learning Review -- May/June 2020

 

Flipped Learning Review — May | June 2020

Except from one of the articles entitled, “Preparing to switch between in-class and online learning — from flr.flglobal.org by Thomas Mennella

“I claim that Flipped Learning is the perfect bridge between face-to-face, on-ground instruction, and an online format. It excels in both worlds and makes transitioning between the two seamless. I am not over-reaching. I am not extrapolating. And I claim to be no expert. I simply showed you the data.”

 

From DSC:
I’m embarking on a journey to discover how our emotions impact our cognition. Why? I have a suspicion that the Socratic Method is actually hurting some students’ learning, vs. helping them.

 

 

From DSC:
Besides the idea of a learning journal and having students check in on these 3 questions…

…here’s another idea/approach to consider using:

The Start, Stop, Continue Strategy —  by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

  • Write down one thing they would like for you or their classmates to START doing to make the course more successful.
  • Next, ask students to write down one thing they would like you or their classmates to STOP doing.
  • Then, ask students to write down one thing they’d like for you or their classmates to CONTINUE doing.

 

From DSC:
The problem with some of this, I realize, is that one person’s learning preferences are just that. They represent that one person’s learning preferences. So someone may say they don’t like using Discussion Boards, while someone else says that DBs work well for them. But if you hear enough of your students say to stop doing XYZ, then that’s solid feedback. Or if enough students ask, “Could we START doing ABC?”…that’s good feedback. 

I found the above item from Barbi’s recent posting:

Excerpts:

  • Here are two recommendations and one strategy to encourage students to read:
    RECOMMENDATION #1 TO GET STUDENTS TO READ: FIND THE WHY.
    RECOMMENDATION #2 TO GET STUDENTS TO READ: CLARIFY THE “DO”
 
 

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