Top 5 Tips for (Temporary) Remote Teaching
As you work to rapidly move your teaching online, we encourage you to consider and remember the following teaching tips related to (temporarily) teaching remotely:
- There are different goals and strategies to rapidly moving your teaching online than there are for distance education, distance learning, and online pedagogy.
- There is no need nor expectation to become an expert on distance learning and online education, and the time for planning in reaction to crisis means we will not hit that standard, and that is okay. Your course may be different than you had planned, and that is also okay: you will not be able to recreate your live classroom online, so give yourself and your students a break in this unprecedented situation.
- Be kind to yourself, to your students, to your campus colleagues, and promote and ensure wellness.
- During this difficult time, most students, faculty, and staff are experiencing stress. These feelings are normal and okay. Set and take breaks, transparently share your updated contact policy with your students and colleagues, and set appropriate boundaries and expectations for the distance learning and online education pivot of your course. When you reach out to your colleagues and campus partners, please be kind and remember that they are managing very heavy workloads, too. Remember to consider the well-being of your graduate students as well. They may be worried about changes to their studies and may need to hear from you that everything is going to be okay.
- Prioritization and transparency are key.
- Decide on the priorities for what your students really need to know for the next few weeks, and focus both your and your students’ time and energy to these tasks and goals. Return to the course and program learning outcomes and prioritize teaching that directly relates to those outcomes. In other words, do what you can now, and worry about making it better later. (Once again, this means that the quality of the teaching and learning may change, but we are not in a normal circumstance this term.) Once you have the priorities and goals for the rest of the term set, communicate to your student about why you’re prioritizing and assigning certain content.
- Adapt your activities, assignments, and assessments.
- It is very possible to still conduct meaningful student engagements and student assessments remotely. Take advantage of virtual field trips, virtual collections, virtual tours, and online simulators. Use video as the remote version of face-to-face interactions. Encourage peer teaching by having your students answer each other’s questions in online discussion forums – while keeping a close eye to moderate. Remember, though: not everyone will have the technology and/or the stable, unlimited Internet connection to access and engage – still plan and make available appropriately and respectfully. Check out our alternative assessments page for more specifics on how to adapt your existing assessments during this time of crisis.
- You are not alone!
- We are all in this together, both across our Guelph campuses and globally, and many instructors and campus partners are facing the same challenges as you are. Consider reaching out to us in the Office of Teaching and Learning firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into our Remote Teaching Consultations and Help sessions https://otl.uoguelph.ca/
- You can also check out the numerous Twitter hashtags right now – #PandemicPedagogy, #CovidCampus, #CovidClassroom, and #AcademicTwitter – are consistently buzzing with more ideas, the asking and answering of questions, condolences, sympathy, motivation, discussion.
Sources and Additional Resources:
- University of Guelph’s Academic Continuity site
- STLHE (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) Keep Teaching site
- University of British Columbia’s Keep Teaching site
- Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (UBC) “10 Tips to Rapidly Transition to Remote Education”
- Sally Brown and Kay Sambell’s “Contingency Planning: Exploring Rapid Alternatives to Face-to-Face Assessment” Google document
- The Chronicle of Higher Education (CoHE)’s Moving Online Now: How To Keep Teaching During Coronovirus