In order to accommodate changing contexts and students’ and instructors’ learning curves, many found that practicing flexibility was necessary to make teaching and learning work.
- Open up assessments: Provide options for how students demonstrate their learning (assign a variety of assignment types and/or give students choice over the medium they use to demonstrate their learning).
- Be flexible with deadlines: When possible, be accommodating on assignment deadlines.
- Create a flexible assignment structure: Provide a structure where students can have a certain number of drops for an assignment type or include a “grace period” for assignment submission. This can also help minimize the need to create make-up work if students have to miss class or an assignment because of illness.
- Provide multiple pathways for office hours: If possible, offer remote and in-person (outside) office hours.
- Solicit feedback from students: Check-in with students about how they are doing and how the class is going, and make adjustments, as necessary using exit tickets, the mid-semester feedback process, and other mechanisms.
- Provide participation options: Allow students multiple pathways to participate in the class session (discussion, chat, polls, Google Docs, etc.)
- Anticipate glitches: Be prepared for technical issues to come up and have a flexible plan in place for what you or students will do in the event that you lose a connection and drop off the call.
In-Person: Full Class
- Invite remote students to participate on Zoom: Some instructors invited quarantining students to participate remotely via Zoom to indicate their willingness to be flexible with students in a difficult situation. However, a number of other instructors found this method too distracting to justify, as you can see in the “Simplicity” section of this report. If you do want students to participate remotely via Zoom, you can learn more about technical solutions different faculty adopted in the “Technology” section of this report.
- Plan for remote exams: Assume exams and other major assessments will have to take place remotely for at least some students who need to isolate or quarantine.
- Provide participation options: Allow students multiple pathways to participate in the class session (discussion, polls, Google Docs, chat, etc.)
In-Person: Alternating Groups
- Make materials available online (brief lecture recordings, class recordings, etc.) for students to review when they’re able to and as often as they need to.
- Allow students to lead, on occasion: Give students a chance to provide input on the focus of particular class sessions or activities.
- Provide remote options: If you are using a “flipscotch” model, discussing the same content in any given week with each group of students, make one of those sessions remote to accommodate quarantining students or students who are otherwise unable to attend.
- Provide participation options: Allow students multiple pathways to participate in the class session (discussion, chat, polls, Google Docs, etc.).
- Provide participation options: Allow students multiple pathways to participate in the class session (discussion, chat, polls, etc.)
- Create adaptive guidelines for Zoom protocols: Keep in mind the many different factors (low bandwidth, living situation that they have little control over, hours of Zoom calls) that might be informing how students show up to your class when writing Zoom protocols. You may want to encourage students to keep their cameras on to cultivate participation, but do so with a light touch.
- Integrate asynchronous content: Build in a few weeks of asynchronous content to give everyone a break from Zoom.
- Offer optional Zoom sessions where students can ask questions and work together.