Seven Great Resources for Moving Your Class Online

I’ve written a couple posts about keeping it simple and thinking about equity as we move our higher ed classes online due to COVID-19 closures. But I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few of my favorite resources I’ve found that I think are great for helping consider the logistics, ethics, and pedagogy of moving courses online. I’ll list a few of my key takeaways from each

“Your Suddenly Online Class Could Actually Be a Relief” by Alexandra L. Milsom

  • use as few tools as possible and go easy on yourself
  • maintain community as best you can (she suggests a clubhouse forum)
  • bring humor and levity in (e.g. short tiktok or snapshat announcements that can be embedded in emails, LMS, or other course messaging systems)

“Pivot to Online: A Student Guide” by Sean Michael Morris

  • Students are facing a lot of challenges – quickly moving out of dorms, mental health crises, loss of employment
  • As instructors, staff, and admin of higher ed institutions, we need to respond to students with “compassion, care, patience, and forgiveness”
  • Encourage students to support each other and maintain community during these tough times.

“Tips for Learning During Disruption,” compiled by Caleb McDaniel and Jenifer Bratter

  • Make sure speaker notes are on for more details about each slide
  • A great list of tips to share with students on structuring their time and studying effectively in a very different learning environment

“Inclusion, Equity, and Access While Teaching Remotely” by Robin Paige and Rice Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Ask students what they need
  • Create an environment that includes and values all students – think about what different populations need and/or don’t have access to
  • “When possible, offer flexibility or alternatives to students when access is an issue. If you have a student who anticipates or who has demonstrated need regarding technology access,  ask them what they would need in order to participate more fully in the course or submit work. Students are most aware of the constraints they face, and are often in a good position to make suggestions for work-arounds.”

“Going Online: A History Department Guide,” by Cate Denial

  • Very helpful step-by-step approach of how to think through moving your class online – emailing your students, sending a survey, etc. with sample text
  • Cate’s updating this as she goes to include new things to consider.

“AMST Tips for Virtual Learning On The Fly,” by Jim McGrath

  • “Not everything will neatly be transferable in a digital space with little planning in the midst of a crisis. Anticipate what will be lost, explain why new approaches are being taken with students (who likely understand but may nonetheless appreciate the transparency), acknowledge moments of inelegance and your own learning curves.”
  • “When introducing new tools or features, don’t assume your students are reading tutorials / have things installed / are familiar even with [certain] digital resources.”
  • tips on using Google Docs, Canvas, and Zoom

“Please do a bad job of putting your courses online,” by Rebecca Barrett-Fox

  • so many good tips for practical implementation of moving your course online
  • “Don’t fuss too much about the videos. You don’t need to edit out the “umms” or the postal carrier ringing the doorbell. Editing is a waste of your time right now.”
  • Listen for students asking for help – especially as many move into uncertain surroundings

–2-year-old co-author Ethan Wieck who helped type and who chose the image (he asked for a teacher)**

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