We've all encountered days when our plans have been upended. Perhaps the weather has turned south, or maybe you have to stay home with a sick kid. For whatever reason you can't make it to campus, there are many ways to ensure that your class stays on track and that you maintain connections with students.
Taking a Moment to Reflect
You likely already have a head start!
You and your students have already established a working relationship in the face-to-face classroom. What's more, you're already an expert in your content area. While you may be just learning online teaching technologies, there are many people to help you with that, and your course may already be partly online.
What you need to focus on now
Emergencies or sudden conversions from face-to-face to online classes in themselves provide kairotic learning opportunities on information literacy. Moreover, virtual collaboration is an essential skill in today’s workplace, and online courses are ideal for helping students develop proficiency in this area. To turn this unexpected situation into a constructive learning experience, here are a few ways to direct your energy:
Preparing to Convert
Before you can transition to an online format, you’ll need to determine the resources available, the needs of your students, and the limitations of what you can provide.
Creating the Online Classroom
Resist the idea that “classroom” activities must be synchronous. Asynchronous activities work well in the online environment because you can be confident that students will always have access to all activities. Students may be dealing with added travel, hospital stays, or caring for family, so asynchronous options may allow students to balance added responsibilities and stresses in this emergency time—not to mention additional responsibilities faculty may face. You may need to find out what kind of access students will have to the internet, computers, and mobile devices.
Note that these lectures do not need to be perfectly edited, award winning videos. They need to be clear and accessible to your students, but you should not devote hours upon hours to producing the perfect lecture video. For better results, follow these practices:
Pre-recorded lectures allow students to revisit those lectures as needed:
If assigned readings are usually followed by discussion and activities in class, you can set up an asynchronous online forum where students: