Prepare Your Fully Online Course ~ Week 2
Over the next four weeks, the Center for Teaching and Learning will help you to take some “bite sized” steps toward transitioning your course online. In addition to resources, there are several opportunities to get more support: including one-on-one conversations with CTL consultants, synchronous workshops, and asynchronous opportunities to engage with your colleagues at Baruch. Click here to see the Week 1 guide.
Please note that this is a suggested timeline, and an example for your reference.
(Re)think your course platform.
Where will students access course materials, submit assignments, and interact with each other? Play around with and decide what primary platform will be used in your course (Blackboard, Blogs@Baruch, Google Drive, etc.). Check out a chart that compares Blogs@Baruch and Blackboard, two course platforms available at Baruch, and/or view the video below for a quick comparison. Once you have decided, you might start inputting the course materials you designed for your unit in Week 1, but remain a little flexible as things might continue to change.
(Cannot access the above video? Here’s a pdf script of the video (this link will open a PDF document).)
(Re)design the second major “unit”.
Last week, you designed a unit that aligned with your learning goals, including smaller-stakes assessment deliverables and one major higher-stakes assessment (like an assignment, a test, a presentation, or a project). This week, as you outline a second unit, think about how your higher-stakes assessment helps you to measure the progress students have made. How will you know what students have learned? Still confused by what it means to design a unit? Click here to learn more about designing a unit through scaffolding (this link will open a PDF document).
(Re)flect on your choices from a student perspective.
Consider a variety of student experiences as you design. Students may have a variety of complex circumstances ranging from constrained home environments; physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges and disabilities that manifest differently in online environments; financial distress; and different family arrangements and/or sharing of physical and digital space with others, may be living in various time zones—all of which are brought to the fore when students learn ‘from home’. While we may not completely know and understand the variety of situations and types of spaces our students are learning in, it is important to consider some key questions:
- Do your platforms and units provide multiple ways for students to access course material and demonstrate what they have learned?
- How will you give students multiple opportunities to be successful in your class?
- How can you maximize flexibility with your students?
- How can you encourage feedback and suggestions from students throughout the course?
Review your first two units using this tip sheet from Baruch’s Office of Disability Services (this link will open a PDF document) on ways to make remote learning more accessible. Check out and refer students to the resources on the Student Disability Services site.
Let’s Cook Together! CTL Support for Week 2 Prep:
Anytime: Check out our CTL Events page for any ongoing programming that you may find helpful as you continue to build your online course.
Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm: Click here to schedule a one-on-one synchronous online appointment with a CTL consultant. If this is your first time to make an appointment, learn how to join the one-on-one session (this link will open a PDF document) after you have scheduled it.
Anytime: Ask us a question in our Ask Me Anything Q&A forum. We’ll respond within 24 hours.
Anytime: Want to learn more and discuss with others about accessibility in online classes? Read and annotate this case study on making an online course more accessible.
Anytime: Thinking of using Zoom for synchronous class sessions, or other synchronous class activities? Be sure to read through our Zoom Guide which talks about Zoom basics, pedagogy, and has some examples of different types of classroom Zoom use.
More to chew on, if you want it:
As you think about how students might access, engage with, and demonstrate their knowledge of course material, you might want to review the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. UDL helps instructors to craft lesson plans, assessments, and other materials for your course in a way that maximizes inclusion of all students. This asynchronous workshop on universal design for learning (UDL) explains some key components of UDL and some ways to apply UDL in your courses.
Need some more advice on how to build more accessible online classes? Aimi Hamraie’s guide to accessible teaching in the time of COVID-19 offers some practical and immediately applicable tips.
This post on video conferencing alternatives gives some strategies for how to create connection and engagement without solely relying on Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, or WebEx.
Are your Blackboard skills a bit rusty? Check out the self-paced Blackboard Basics training offered by the Central Office CIS Training Team, which is available through your CUNY Blackboard portal. This screenshot guide for Blackboard Basics training (this link will open a PDF document), or this video guide for Blackboard Basics training shows you how to enroll.
Want to learn more about how to make Microsoft Word documents, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and multimodal documents more accessible? Take the self-paced UDL training from the School for Professional Studies, which is available through your CUNY Blackboard portal. Here’s a screenshot guide for how to enroll in the Blackboard Accessibility Course (this link will open a PDF document).
Want to ensure that your synchronous meetings are more accessible? Read (and save for later reference) this handy guide from the NYC Mayor’s office on accessible synchronous meetings (this link will open a PDF document) for some good ideas.
Good job on week 2! Check out prep recommendations for weeks 3 and 4, or go back and review the recommendations from week 1.
Image credits: ‘Cooking’ icons toolkit from goodstuffnononsense.com