1A. Going Online Quickly

Section 1: Toolkit

Suddenly having to put everything online without adequate preparation can be difficult, both for those used to online instruction and those unfamiliar with it. Experienced online instructors have been sharing tips for quickly pivoting to online learning on Twitter, with hashtags such as #CovidCampus and #RemoteTeaching. 

Some of the tips and best practices can be summarized as:

  1. Start simple. Think about your main objectives, and find the simplest tools and ways to meet them. Simpler tools - text, minimal video - are more likely to be accessible to a broader range of students, including those who may only have a mobile device. 

  2. Try to use platforms and tools (such as Nexus) with which your students are already familiar. By building on prior knowledge and skills sets, the students can focus on the newer parts rather than feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliarity.

  3. Think about students’ privacy when using digital tools, and communicate with them about how much data may be collected.

  4. How will students access course materials? Have they been made available online? This is something your liaison librarian can likely help you navigate if not.

  5. Rethink assignments and participation - what do you absolutely need to measure, how much has already been measured, and what is the simplest way to check the remainder?

  6. Be transparent and communicative. Decide how you will check in on students who may be falling behind, and how you will keep everyone interested and engaged. Online content typically needs to be broken into smaller chunks than in-class lectures.

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