Below are some strategies that have worked well for instructors at BC and elsewhere.
Lecture With Q&A
Interacting online for long periods can be demanding, both for internet bandwidth and human attention. Some instructors find it makes for a better pace to record a presentation in Panopto that students can watch at their own convenience, then convene a virtual conference in Zoom to answer questions and welcome further discussion.
Assignment On The Fly
Rather than directly conferencing with students, some instructors prefer to assign an activity for students to complete on the disrupted day. An instructor might divide a class into groups and then give each group a challenge related to what was going to be discussed in class. For example, using the Canvas discussion board, an instructor could post central quotations from the text assigned for that day and ask each group to work together to explain the meaning of the quotation and show how it fits into the larger argument.
Virtual Class Meeting
If you are able to prepare for the disruption ahead of time and still want to meet with your class during regularly-schedule class time, launch a virtual conference in Zoom. The CTE’s information on Virtual Communications in Canvas includes information on getting started for both you and your students.
Assignment Prepared In Advance
Some instructors, rather than preparing a lecture in advance for students to watch, prepare an assignment for students to complete during the time that the course normally meets, which is then turned in via Canvas. Use the Assignments feature in Canvas to collect the assignments virtually, and the Announcements feature to broadcast information about the assignment to students.
The transitions between class sessions can be a particular challenge when they are not happening in person. To prepare your students for the next one, provide a brief video or audio orientation to an assignment students need to complete, or the chapters or articles they will be reading. Use the Canvas Media Recorder to create a recording in a page or module near the content for session.
Reading Comprehension Check
To verify that students have understood the content they were assigned to learn for a class session, administer a quiz in Canvas. For multiple choice and other questions that can be automatically graded, settings can be adjusted so students get immediate feedback. This can make the use of any follow-up activities like virtual conferencing or an online discussion even more efficient.
Online Office Hours
Be available through a virtual conference to answer questions in real time. Even if there isn’t a need to meet with the entire class, individual students might have questions. Faculty already using Zoom should continue using it, faculty unfamiliar with it should use Google Meet which is connected directly to your Boston College email address.