Prepare Your Fully Online Course ~ Week 4
Over the past four weeks, the Center for Teaching and Learning has helped you to take some “bite sized” steps toward transitioning your course online. Click here to see the Week 1 guide, click here to see the Week 2 guide, and click here to see the Week 3 guide. We will continue to offer one-on-one conversations with CTL consultants, synchronous workshops, and asynchronous opportunities to engage with your colleagues at Baruch
Please note that this is a suggested timeline, and an example for your reference.
(Re)visit your assessment strategies.
You have already incorporated low and high stakes assessments into the 3 course units you’ve developed. As you continue building out any additional units needed, this is also an opportunity to revisit your assessment strategy and to be realistic about your own expectations for the time spent grading. Are there tweaks that can make the grading process more manageable? For example: if students reply to each other’s low-stakes weekly posts, it may not be necessary to individually reply to each student every week. Instead, skim the conversations noting if the work was completed (this could be graded as a ✓or ✓+) and only reply to clarify any errors or misconceptions and/or acknowledge key points from the dialogue in the following class. Click here to view some other considerations for assessment in the online classroom.
(Re)humanize the online classroom.
The online classroom environment can seem particularly cold and dehumanizing. Many experienced online educators have highlighted the importance of bringing humanity intentionally into these spaces to help with everything from attendance to achieving deeper learning.achieving deeper learning. In the current moment, when many of us are socially isolated, this is especially true. There are a variety of moments and spaces in the online class where we can extend our students’ and our own humanity. Consider your (instructor) presence by creating a welcome video like this one. Facilitate your students’ (social) presence with a welcome ice-breaker activity with a welcome ice-breaker activity. Click here to read more concrete tips for humanizing the online classroom, and be sure to check out more resources (including videos) in the More to Chew On section below.
(Re)flect on your course from a student perspective.
You’ve done a lot of work in these last four weeks! It’s a good time to pause and reflect on the units that you’ve built, your course policies, your assessment choices, the weekly rhythm of your deliverables, and the “classroom” that you’re building via your platform. Take a moment to see these things from the perspective of the many different students who will be part of your class. To do this, you might also seek out some feedback from a colleague, a friend, or a CTL staff member. You might also consider answering the questions on this last-minute course prep checklist.
Let’s Cook Together! CTL Support For Week 4 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: Want someone to take a quick look at your course materials, especially any first day of class materials? 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 about teaching and learning online in our Ask Me Anything Q&A forum. We’ll respond within 24 hours.
More to chew on, if you want it:
Remember that the single most important consideration that we can make in designing an online course is to have compassion for our students and ourselves. Read Cathy Davidson’s article to learn more about why it’s so important to offer a flexible instructional model, which includes some more concrete ideas for how to create one.
Want to learn more about teaching personas and why they are important in an online classroom? Check out this guide from Purdue University on how to develop your online teaching persona (this link will open a PDF document).
Brianna Kuhn, an online teacher at Mesa Community College in San Diego, shares many of the videos that she makes to orient her class. Here are three: a video walking students through a course platform, a video introducing students to the week’s topic, and a video walking students through course assessment policies.
This recorded conversation on microlectures weighs the benefits and constraints of the lecture format for the online learning context and takes you through some steps for making them.
Join the CUNY Continuity Slack Channel where you can get ongoing support from fellow Baruch colleagues.
Good luck with your classes! Bookmark this guide and refer back to it as often as you want.
Image credits: ‘Cooking’ icons toolkit from goodstuffnononsense.com