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Stacey Goguen

Thank you for doing this series. Lots of ideas to think about, this will be helpful for me.

John Brennan

I appreciate your insights and willingness to share your experiences. I am an underpaid adjunct at 2 schools with a new 8 week course switching to online format after 1 week of the course, 1 week to convert, and 6 remaining weeks to fit 7 weeks of material in.

My 2nd school has a 2 week break coming up and is talking about using their Desire2Learn or D2LLMS for online teaching then. It will be interesting.


We were given no time to convert. I'm curious how many others were not given time?

Lisa Schoenberg

I've been teaching online in one form or another since Spring 2001, and agree with much that is said here. Asynchronous is much better.

I would add though that I used to post videos on YouTube, but I don't anymore. They are onerous to make, especially if you want to remove speaking errors. Also, students might get frustrated searching for a particular section of the video when studying the material. If you do record videos, then shorter is DEFINITELY the way to go. Ten-fifteen minutes tops, even shorter preferable. Separate your material into bite-sized chunks with clear titles so that students can find the material they want easily.

Easier in my opinion is using VoiceThreads or a related program to record your voice over slides. The students can then advance from slide to slide while listening to your voice discussing what is on the slide. The students control what they are viewing, can skip slides to find material they want to review more easily, and since they have to advance from one slide to the next and are looking at something other than a face, they are somewhat less likely to be passively running the video in the background as they do ten other things (or fall asleep, which is how my teens watch youtube videos). They are also incredibly easy to make. My VoiceThreads are much longer than my old YouTube videos--they cover whole topics, rather than bite-sized chunks--but the the recordings within individual slides are much shorter. I have individual slide recordings that are 30ish seconds long, raising a question for instance and then asking the student not to advance until they've thought of a possible answer. Instead of having to stop a YouTube video while they think of an answer, fumbling to get to the button and so on, they can take their time thinking.

Also I should add that there are lots of interesting things you can do with discussion boards. If you set up your questions well, you can get the students to populate the boards with material that their classmates can use. You can ask each student to pose one question for another student to answer about the reading, for instance (and correspondingly require each student to answer another student's question). You can ask students to post links to bad arguments they've found online (I used to teach Critical Thinking online), or to clips from movies/TV shows that have interesting moral dilemmas.

Fritz McDonald

Anon: my school took a two day break this week and aims to resume with online instruction next week. I have friends whose students were on spring break—some of those schools extended the break by a week before resuming instruction online.

F. E. Guerra-Pujol

FYI: Here is an alternative view of "online ed": https://anygoodthing.com/2020/03/12/please-do-a-bad-job-of-putting-your-courses-online/

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