Teaching Continuity in a Remote Setting: Expectations Are Key to Faculty and Student Success
As colleges and universities send their students, faculty, and staff home to teach, learn and work, what does it mean to move your face to face engaged classrooms to an online environment, and how do you support them best?
This reminds me of the early days of using a learning management system (LMS). When I was a CIO, our faculty were concerned that students and others would expect them to be available 24 x7. What we learned then is similar to what we are facing now—faculty must set expectations.
When working with faculty to initially adopt an LMS for all courses regardless of modality, we must support them with transitioning the guidance they provide face to face to an online environment. Some of the basics include—when office hours will be held and how students can reach them; when faculty will review assignments and engage with course discussions and materials. Think about the guidance you provide to your students on how to engage with you and develop methods to remain connected in a disruptive situation using technology as your driver.
Remember, remote education is not new; it has been around for centuries and dates back to as early as 1728. When it comes to providing teaching continuity and setting expectations for your students, here are some other things to consider.
- Keep it simple. There is enough change everyone is facing.
- Determine how the online environment will support and replace face to face engagement.
- Set the expectations you have for students.
- Set the expectations for what students can expect from you.
- Keep open lines of communication and be willing to adjust.
- Leverage your library, librarians, and support staff—they have been working with online resources for decades and can help faculty align key content and resources for their students.
- Testing and exams may proceed with students having access to material and tools they wouldn’t usually have in a class setting. This should not change the learning outcomes, but rather the approach to how you assess the outcomes.
- Have empathy and engage with your students in positive ways to help during uncertain times.
Faculty, instructional designers, and vendors are sharing resources every day that can help students and faculty continue in this disruption. Some resources focused on assisting the transition to remote teaching for higher education include
- Remote teaching resources for business continuity, a google doc of resources from over 300 organizations.
- University of Nebraska Online 7 habits of great online students to share with your students
- Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start, The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Resources for remote teaching, by Nina Huntemann (@ninabeth), with a compilation of links, webinars and videos, and edX related resources.
Student success is critical, and in a disruptive state, with continuity, student success will continue to evolve. Faculty are some of the most determined individuals when it comes to ensuring they can teach, and students can learn. I would bet my money that faculty will adjust, and even with many bumps along the way, students will thrive, adapt, and succeed, preparing them for future disruptions.
The Tambellini Group is providing information, resources, and free services for higher education, including free analyst time to assist our clients and all of higher education as they navigate COVID-19.
And to help all of us with some levity during these very trying times, take a few minutes to watch Michael Bruening, an associate professor of history and political science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, “I Will Survive Teaching Online.”