Adobe Distance Learning Resources — from edex.adobe.com
Whether your school routinely supports distance learning or is facing unexpected closures, we’ve assembled these resources and learning opportunities to help educators engage remote students through online learning.

  • Talks and Webinars
  • Khan + Create Activities
  • Learn and Create for Social Justice
  • Courses, Articles, and Blogs
  • Go Paperless with your Teaching
  • Higher Ed and K-12 projects that make distance learning engaging
  • Resources to support young learners
 

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:

 

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.
 

ECAR Study of the Technology Needs of Students with Disabilities, 2020 — from er.educause.edu by Dana Gierdowski and Joseph Galanek
Technology in higher education can be both an aid and a challenge for students with disabilities. Institutions and instructors can take steps to ensure that these students have equitable access, and those same measures can help all students, particularly during the era of emergency remote teaching.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We asked students, “What is ONE thing you would like your instructors to do with technology to enhance your academic success?” In our analysis of their responses, we identified two overarching themes, as well as prominent patterns within those themes:

  • Online Access to Materials and Resources
    • Class notes and slides
    • Assignments, tests, and quizzes
    • Recorded lectures
    • The LMS and the user experience
  • Teaching with Technology
    • Mobile devices in the classroom
    • Training students and faculty in using technology
    • Multiple methods of presenting course materials
    • Engagement through the use of technology

Read full report: PDF | HTML

Access other materials: Executive Summary | Infographic

 


Also see:

ADA -- Disability and Covid-19

 

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”
 

Pandemic may (finally) push online education into teacher prep programs — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

But there’s another factor that’s impeding remote learning. Most teachers simply don’t know how to teach online. No one ever taught them how—or asked them to learn.

“To teach remotely is not something we usually teach,” McGhee says. “We are very much focused on classroom teaching.”

That’s not unique to Auburn. Few teacher preparation programs in the U.S. train future educators to teach online, experts say.

 

From DSC:
Here’s an idea that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now. It’s not necessarily a new idea, but the seed got planted in me by a former colleague, Quin Schultze (which I blogged about in January of 2018). I’m calling it, “My Learning Journal.The purpose of this device is to promote your metacognition  — helping you put things into your own words and helping you identify your knowledge gaps.

I realize that such a learning strategy/tool could take some time to complete. But it could pay off — big time! Give it a try for a few weeks and see what you think.

And, with a shout-out to Mr. James McGrath, the President of the WMU-Cooley Law School, the article listed below explains the benefits of taking the time for such reflection:

Reflective learning – reflection as a strategic study technique — from open.edu

Excerpts:

Rather than thinking of reflection as yet another task to be added to your ‘to do’ list or squeezed into a busy study schedule, view it as something to practice at any stage. The emphasis is on being a reflective learner rather than doing reflective learning. 

Developing a habit of reflective learning will help you to:

  • evaluate your own progress
  • monitor and manage your own performance
  • self-motivate
  • keep focus on your learning goals
  • think differently about how you can achieve your goals by evaluating your study techniques, learning strategies and whether these best fit your current needs, identifying your skills development needs or gaps in knowledge
  • think about and overcome what may be blocking your learning by using a different approach, or setting more pragmatic (realistic/achievable) goals
  • support and enrich your professional practice ensuring that you are better placed to respond to and manage new, unexpected and complex situations – a key requirement at Master’s level.

From DSC:
Pastors, trainers, K-12 educators, student teachers, coaches, musical teachers, and others: Perhaps a slightly modified version of this tool might be beneficial to those with whom you work as well…?

And for educators and trainers, perhaps we should use such a tool to think about our own teaching and training methods — and what we are (or aren’t) learning ourselves.

Addendum on 5/14/20:

Perhaps someone will build a bot for this type of thing, which prompts us to reflect upon these things. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about or something like Woebot, which Jeremy Caplan mentioned here.

 

How the research on learning can drive change — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Sturgis

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

#2 Learning results from the interplay of cognition, emotion, and motivation.
The brain does not clearly separate cognitive from emotional functioning so that optimal learning environments will engage both. It’s important that students feel safe if learning is to be optimized. When we are afraid, our amygdala becomes activated making it harder to learn. Do students feel valued? Relationships matter in creating a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Are schools designed so that teachers and professors have the opportunity to build strong relationships with students? Do students feel that the school and teachers want them to be successful? Do they have chances to receive feedback and revise or do grading practices simply judge them?

 

From DSC:
Two instances — plus a simmering question — instantly stand out in my mind when I read the above paragraph.

First instance:
It was years ago and I was working at a Fortune 500 company outside of Chicago. I was given the chance to learn how to program in one of the divisions of this company. I was in a conference room with my brand new boss. I had asked him a question about a piece of code, which clearly must have let him know I had some serious misunderstandings.

But instead of being patient, he grew increasingly frustrated at my lack of understanding. The madder he got, the worse my learning became. My focus shifted from processing the expected syntax of the code — and the content/instruction overall that he was trying to relay — to almost completely being concerned with his anger. My processing shut down and things deteriorated from there.

Second instance:
My mom was a classical piano teacher for decades. Though she was often loved by her students, she could be very tough, strong, and forceful. (This was true of several of my siblings’ music teachers as well.) Most of the time, she developed wonderful, strong relationships with the vast majority of her students, many of which came back to our house around Christmastime / New Year’s to visit with her (even long after “graduating”).

I mention that as background to a different context…when I observed my mom trying to teach one of my nieces how to do a math problem in the kitchen of our old house. Again, the teacher in this case kept getting increasingly frustrated, while the student kept shrinking back into their shell…trying to deflect the increasingly hot anger coming at them. The cognitive processing stopped. The amount of actual learning taking place quickly declined. I finally intervened to say that they should come back to this topic later on.

(The counselors/therapists out there would probably rightly connect these two scenarios for what was happening in my mind (i.e., not wanting to deal with the other person’s growing anger). But this applies to many more of us than just me, I’m afraid.)

A simmering question involving law schools and a common teaching method:
In law schools, one of the long-standing teaching methods is the Socratic Method.

Depending upon the professor and their teaching style, one student could be under intense pressure to address the facts, rules, the legal principles of a case, and much more. They often have to stand up in front of the class.

In those instances, I wonder how much capacity to actually process information gets instantly reduced within many of the students’ brains when they get the spotlight shown on them? Do the more introverted and/or less confident students start to sweat? Do their fear levels and heart rates increase? With the issue of having other students attempting to learn from this grilling aside, I wonder what happens to the amygdalas of the students that were called upon?

You can probably tell that I’m not a big fan of the Socratic Method IF it begins to involve too much emotion…too much anger or fear. Not good. The amount of learning taking place can be significantly impacted.

A professor, teacher, or trainer can’t know all of the underlying background, psychology, personality differences, emotional makeup, and experiences of each learner. But getting back to the article, I appreciate what the author was saying about the importance of establishing a SAFE learning environment. The more fear, anger, and a sense of being threatened or scared are involved, the less learning/processing can occur.

 

Healthy looks different on every body...and learning looks different with every mind.

 
 

10 Tips for Supporting Students with Special Needs in #RemoteLearning — from jakemiller.net by Jake Miller

Excerpt:

How can we support learners with special needs in remote learning?

While, certainly, some educators are doing great things to support these students, from my observations, this has taken a backseat to other elements of remote learning.  And these students NEED OUR HELP.

Unfortunately, I am not an expert in special education, accessibility features or assistive technology. I am, however, skilled at asking other people to share their expertise. ? So, in episode 40 of the Educational Duct Tape podcast and in the 4.8.20 #EduDuctTape Twitter Chat I asked educators one simple question:

How can we support learners with special needs in remote learning?

And they DELIVERED. I mean, the awesome suggestions and resources, all from a perspective of support rather than judgment, POURED in. And so, here they are.

10 Tips for Supporting Students with Special Needs in Remote Learning

 

 

Student-Centered Remote Teaching: Lessons Learned from Online Education — from  er.educause.edu by Shannon Riggs

Excerpt:

Student-content interaction is all about having students DO something with the course content or topic. Reading and listening to lectures will be part of many classes, but the passive receipt of information isn’t sufficient to help students engage with the course and meet course learning outcomes. Instead, we should create opportunities for active learning, which is when students DO something meaningful related to the course content and then reflect on their learning.

After students complete a course reading, ask them to do a follow-up assignment. Here are a few examples:

  • Write a summary.
  • Create an annotated visual on a PowerPoint slide that shows your key take-away from the reading.
  • List five of your take-aways and one question you have based on the reading.
  • Identify what you as a reader find to be the clearest point in the reading and the muddiest point
  • Diagram a process.
  • Make an infographic.
  • Write an op-ed based on the content.

After students attend a synchronous lecture via web conference, ask them to complete a follow-up activity:

  • Participate in a “think-pair-share” activity: The instructor poses a question, asks students to jot some notes down independently to form initial thoughts, distributes students into breakout rooms to discuss, and then pulls the class back together as a group to discuss and synthesize.
  • Complete a poll to check comprehension.
  • Illustrate ideas on the web conference whiteboard.
  • Flip the web conference “lecture” by asking students to come prepared to discuss topics they have already read up on.
  • Give students the opportunity to lead a discussion.
 
 
 

From DSC:
NOTE: The K-12 education system that I’m talking about in this posting is the pre-COVID-19 education system.



What Cory Henwood describes here…

The paradigm of one -- as described by Cory Henwood

is what I describe as the quickly moving K-12 education train that stops for no one!

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

(image source)


This becomes especially troublesome for those on either side of the 80% bell curve.
I know about this, as one of our daughters has been living through this phenomenon for years. We are seriously considering homeschooling for her as we want her learning experiences to be more positive ones for her. We want to provide more choice, more control for what she wants to learn about — and the pace at which she can go through those experiences. We want there to be more joy in her learning experiences. This will hopefully help her build more positive perspectives about learning in general.

This is not a mute issue…nor is this a topic that’s focused on just students with special needs. In fact, this topic is relevant to every single student in America — as everyone is now required to be lifelong learners these days. Grades need to diminish in importance. The enjoyment of learning needs to rise.

Note: There were some times in public and charter schools that provided courses and topics of great interest to her, and provided some great joy to her. Plus, there were some incredibly-dedicated teachers and staff that created a team around our daughter. I’m very grateful for them and for their efforts. But positive learning experiences were becoming too few and too far between. The train left the station *for everyone* at such-and-such a time, and stopped *for everyone* at such and such a time. The education system required that she and her classmates move at a certain (high) speed — regardless of their mastery of the content. Teachers know what I’m talking about here…big time.

We need to get to what Cory discusses about when he discusses competency-based education.

We need to get to what Cory discusses about competency-based education.

Plus, we need to get to a place where there is:

 

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