Many faculty reported that teaching in new modalities and experiencing obstacles to more organic interaction required them to plan ahead and provide more structure for class activities and their courses more generally.
In-Person: Alternating Groups
- Assign smaller assessments more often (reading checks, Discussion Boards, Perusall annotations, journal entries, “exit tickets”) so that you have a better sense of students’ learning and students can receive brief feedback more frequently.
- Create a stable schedule for students: If students are doing more frequent small assignments, create a routine schedule with assignment types and due dates (e.g. Perusall comments due on Monday afternoon and Quiz due on Wednesday afternoon). This was mentioned in comments across modalities, but was most frequently raised in reference to Online Asynchronous courses.
- Generously-graded Discussion Boards can incentivize students to interact with one another and prime further discussion/engagement on a topic. Some instructors have asked students to highlight a quote that stood out to them and respond to it, others have asked students to raise questions they would like to discuss.
- “Flip” the class, or make content delivery happen outside of class (readings, recorded lectures, curated lecture notes) so you can spend class time processing the material and practicing skills (case studies, practice problems, discussion, etc.).
- Assess during class time: Have students work on and submit small assignments or learning checks during class time to reduce their labor and cognitive load (quizzes, practice problems, etc.).
In-Person: Alternating Groups
- Make recordings available at a predictable time: Provide students with predictability by posting class recordings at around the same time. You can make Panopto recordings available by default in Canvas, meaning that any videos taken with Lecture Capture will automatically publish when they’re ready and any videos you upload to your Panopto course folder (e.g. Zoom recordings) will automatically publish after you upload them.
- Use breakout rooms intentionally: provide students with clear instructions about what they should bring back to the whole group and have students make notes in Google Docs or Jamboards so you can keep track of their progress and intervene effectively. One instructor had students go into breakout rooms at the beginning of each class and populate a jamboard with key points from the reading and discussion questions they’d like to cover in class. The rest of the class period involved going back and forth between looking at Jamboard summaries and discussing student-generated questions in gallery view.
- Create a regular rhythm for class sessions (e.g. short Powerpoint presentation, class discussion, breakout rooms) to help students get into a routine and to minimize the effects of Zoom fatigue, especially during longer sessions.
- Create interactive videos with embedded Google Forms or quizzes to help keep students on track.