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Ongoing course? Or a course in the near future?

You are a teacher and have been asked to move your classes online. What this might mean for you and your students will depend on the timeframe you are working with.

Take this as a general guideline: if you are pressed for time and things need to move fast, just do the best you can under the circumstances.

Your course is already underway and you need to start changing the set-up ASAP

If your course has already started and you need to quickly adjust to online learning, we suggest you start by focusing on the main elements of the course, for instance lectures and examinations. Let's introduce a possible approach:

Make a list of all the planned on-campus activities that still remain in your course:

  • Sort the list in order of urgency and deal with the most urgent issues first.
  • Consider if any of the activities can be directly replaced with web-based alternatives.
  • Could you record a lecture, for instance? If not, could you try to use one of the web-based conferencing tools such as Zoom?
  • Is there an alternative for oral student presentations?
  • Could seminars be organized via Canvas or Zoom?
  • Could in-class exams be converted to take-home exams?


What happens if an activity cannot be easily replaced with a web-based alternative?

You may need to replace the activity, for instance by introducing an additional reading assignment or a Canvas group discussion.

Your course will start shortly or in the near future

If you have some time before your course starts, you may be able to affect more extensive changes. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the tools available for online learning and distance education and try to find the right ones for meeting your course goals. You might also have time to reconsider and develop different forms of examination more suited to an online learning format.

  • Start with your examinations. Are the original forms of examination suited to an online format or do they need to be revised? In an online format, you may want to consider splitting up a larger examination into shorter parts, and to publish clear guidelines and examination criteria to support students in their efforts to understand and submit assignments on time.
     
  • Explore the different possibilities for student learning that different e-learning tools provide. Some tools, for instance, make it easy for students to comment on each other's drafts. The more you know about these options, the more flexibly you can use these tools when you design new learning activities for your course.
     
  • Try to create a course/assignment structure that is easy to follow and presents students with a clear sense of the way the course will progress. Including smaller interim goals may help students to keep up motivation and to be more prepared for active participation.
     
  • Make use of the available tools and features that support active student participation, for instance discussion forums, quizzes, different group features, collaborations, etc.
     
  • Using recorded lectures can be useful for creating more flexibility for students. It can also be useful to open up for different forms of learning activities and examinations.
Page Manager: Olof Siverbo|Last update: 3/20/2020
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