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2020 Fall Teaching Resources from the Remote 2.0 Committee: High-Touch Practices for Teaching
Curated resources for faculty reviewed by members of the Remote 2.0 subcommittee.
A face-to-face course does not guarantee high-touch or high-contact experiences. Multimodal, remote, or online courses do not preclude them. These things can be offered in all courses at W&J regardless of the delivery system.
High-Touch Teaching Practices
Personalized attention to students (“Students, I see you are there and care about you.”)
learn names and use them
ask students generally at the start/end of a class how things are going in the course (or life)
be amenable to adjusting the syllabus midstream if students are having trouble with the material or the timing is going wonky; don’t just “set it and forget it.”
follow up with students who are not showing up or who are not thriving
if teaching synchronously, answer individual questions during and especially after class
hold open office hours, not just “by appointment only”
respond to student emails in a timely fashion (within a day is fine)
A strong faculty presence in the course (“Students, you don’t have to teach yourself.”)
come to class and teach (classroom version):
easy, even if you are doing nothing more than reading a lecture or PowerPoint slides aloud (but you do better than that!)
come to class and teach (remote version):
teach your class synchronously through videoconferencing
teach asynchronously by
making audio or video recordings of yourself lecturing, commenting on the readings, or doing demonstrations
recording narration on your PowerPoints
doing lecture capture (a video of you and your whiteboard, for example)
provide some form of direct contact from faculty to students at least once a week
synchronous class sessions
online discussion boards actively moderated by the instructor
small group or one-on-one video conferences
text/video/audio announcements to the entire class
Personalized assessment and assistance (“Students, I am not here just to judge or rank you; I am here to help you learn and improve.”)
scaffold large-stakes assignments
several quizzes before an hour exam
small version of an assignment before the big one (example: short video before the major presentation video)
long project worked through in stages (example: paper: abstract, bibliography, outline, draft, etc.)
read drafts of student writing, let them consult you on work-in-progress
provide written assessment feedback (comments), not just a score, for some student work (need not be all assignments)
even a simple “Nice work!” as well as a score/grade on a quiz goes a long way
Get graded work back in a timely fashion so they can use your comments to improve on the next piece of work
A sense of community (“Student, you are not alone in the class.”)
get students talking to each other (not just you) in discussions
have students work on a specific task in pairs or small groups both in and out of class.
Blended (also called hybrid) classrooms, in which face-to-face interaction is intentionally combined with online activities to aid student learning, are becoming more and more common. Most recently, “flipped” classrooms have become a popular method for teaching because more time for active learning in-class can be gained by moving content delivery such as lecture to outside-of-class homework using technology tools such as video or lecture capture. The blended model is proving to be an environment that provides more self-directed, technology-mediated learning experiences for students who will be incorporating technology more and more into their professional lives post-college.The Blended Course Design Workbook meets the need for a user-friendly resource that provides faculty members and administrators with instructions, activities, tools, templates, and deadlines to guide them through the process of revising their traditional face-to-face course into a blended format.
It is difficult to imagine a college class today that does not include some online component—whether a simple posting of a syllabus to course management software, the use of social media for communication, or a full-blown course offering through a MOOC platform. In Teaching Online, Claire Howell Major describes for college faculty the changes that accompany use of such technologies and offers real-world strategies for surmounting digital teaching challenges.
What is understanding and how does it differ from knowledge? How can we determine the big ideas worth understanding? Why is understanding an important teaching goal, and how do we know when students have attained it? How can we create a rigorous and engaging curriculum that focuses on understanding and leads to improved student performance in today's high-stakes, standards-based environment?Authors Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe answer these and many other questions in this second edition of Understanding by Design.