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Teaching Remotely During A Disruption

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The following guide is intended to support faculty teaching remotely to students via online tools. Teaching during a disruption like COVID-19 requires creativity and flexibility so that you can fulfill the essential learning goals of your course under new conditions.

LITS supports a number of tools that can achieve this goal. In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • Common activities that you will likely need to move online immediately
  • Transitioning your pedagogy from face-to-face instruction to distance learning
  • Expanding your use of Moodle for remote learning
  • Best practices for video conferencing

When teaching in a time of disruption, the goal is to try to replicate the essential learning goals in a new format, not necessarily replicate the original course design. This guide is designed to help you get up and running quickly, with the essentials in place.

First Steps

  • Ensure you have access to a desktop or laptop computer, a webcam and a microphone (these may be built into your machine), and stable Internet service at home, or wherever you are most likely to be in the event that social distancing becomes necessary.
  • Let students know your communications plan. Should they expect email from you? Will you post to your Course Announcements forum in Moodle?
  • Plan your office hours alternatives. Will you keep the same times? Or respond as questions come in? Do you prefer students contact you by e-mail? By phone? You could also host a Zoom call in your Moodle site for anyone who wants to dial in (there's a handy "waiting room" feature that will allow you to have private conversations with attendees one by one), or use Google Hangouts or a collaborative Google Doc.
  • Visit Mount Holyoke's Zoom page to set up your account, or to download and install this videoconferencing software.
  • Encourage your students to add the Moodle mobile app to their personal devices.
  • Read through the rest of this guide to think concretely about how to meet essential learning goals through new formats and assignments. Sketch out a rough plan for a revised syllabus, and consider how you will handle deadlines for forum posts and other online activities.

Local Expertise

Members of the Mount Holyoke teaching community are gathering on the Teaching and Learning Initiative's Moodle Site, which can be found here: TLI Moodle Site.  The course is self-enroll, so any MHC community member who clicks the link can sign in and enroll themselves.

TLI is also curating resources and meeting dates at Virtual Talking About Teaching. Consultations with faculty colleagues with online teaching experience are available; see that document for details.

Mike Flynn and Sarah Bent (PaGE) are facilitating an Online Teaching Support Group, including webinar sessions and resource sharing. We'll have the webinars noted on our calendar above.

Valerie Barr (Computer Science) has collected resources on online learning here.

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