Update (April 8, 2020): This post has been updated with a new Rapid Transition Survival Guide infographic.
- To tell you that "you've got this!" You can do it.
- To help make the experience as effective as possible for both students and instructors in a rapid transition to online learning scenario.
First Things First
Set aside time at the beginning and the end of each work day for reading and responding to emails, student inquiries, and discussion posts. It can be quite easy to eat up your entire day with these things if you don't schedule yourself!
Schedule some "development" time for each work day, which you will use for preparing materials to share through your online channels.
Stay at least one week ahead of your students. You should be using your "development" time to prepare the resources and activities that you will need for next week, while responding to students as they work through this week's activities.
Use a consistent format for preparing and sharing your resources and activities each week. This will help you to manage your development activities, and it will help students to navigate them once they are posted.
Set aside time for yourself, and your family. Let your students know what your working hours are, and avoid "routine" work on the weekends. (I still check in at least once a day, just to see if there are any fires to put out, or any students who have urgent needs... even if just to send them a quick note to let then know when I will get back to them in detail.)
What to Develop, and How to Share it
- Moving our classes / lectures online.
- Setting up channels of communication with our students.
- Posting, submitting, and grading assignments.
Moving Live Classes to a Virtual Space
Easy Lecture Capture Strategies
Setting Up Channels of Communication
Put this right at the top of the course home page, so that students will see it as soon as they login to the course. Use this to post regular general announcements, important reminders, etc. I frequently also use it to post weekly wrap-ups, where I summarize what we've done in the previous week, and what we're going to look at in the upcoming week.
Put this right under the News and Announcements forum, if at all possible. I generally ask my students to use that forum for any and all questions related to the course content, assignments, or anything else that others in the class could benefit from knowing, and to refrain from sending me such questions by email. That achieves three things:
- Your students will know where to find answers to common questions.
- You can avoid answering the same question multiple times.
- You can better manage your time, as it will reduce the number of emails that you get!
Use these for discussions related to the actual course materials and activities for a given topic or week.
Set up some means for sharing assignment instructions, receiving assignment submissions, and distributing grades and feedback to your students. If you have access to a learning management system, it should have built-in assignment drop box tools. If not, simply set up a Google Drive folder for each assignment. Be sure to configure the link sharing settings so that students can actually save files into the folder. And be sure to specify a filenaming convention, so that you don't end up with a dozen or more students all submitting files named simply "Assignnment 1.doc."
An Open Door
Sharing Course Resources
Sharing Your Own Materials
Don't Forget Accessibility
Helping Students Manage Their Time
Rapid Transition Survival Guide Infographic
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