As we start this semester, you may find yourself shifting to remote teaching due to the surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant. In an Intentional College Teaching blog post, Dr. Bridget Arend suggests that if you are shifting to remote teaching, it is beneficial to do thoughtful planning about how to use the first few remote/online weeks and sessions intentionally. She provided some tips for educators who are starting the semester teaching remotely. Consider your goals for the first few days/weeks of class. What is important? What additional aspects may be necessary due to the current circumstances? Use the answers to these questions to focus your efforts.
Dr. Arend shared the following ideas for starting the semester remotely:
- Build Community – It is important to build a community of learners in your course.
- Set Participation/Guideline Norms – The added challenge of a new course format, new technologies, and continually changing policies, makes this aspect more necessary.
- Get Students Excited About the Content – Perhaps you can front-load some of the more engaging or exciting aspects of the content during these first remote weeks.
- Be Mindful About Logistics – As you develop your first weeks, keep in mind how things will change with a shift back to an on-campus or hybrid format.
- Address Your Pedagogical Challenge – Each course has something about it that makes it challenging to teach that subject to the students in that course. Address this challenge head-on from day one, no matter what the format.
- Take Care of Yourself – Set realistic boundaries for yourself and share these with students. Let students know you genuinely care about them and their learning, but you also need to take care of your own family, health, etc.
If this has piqued your interest, you can read more in her Tips for Starting the Semester Teaching Remotely blog post.