To ensure successful teaching, it is important that your course design and platform content are connected to each other, to maintain congruence with the synchronous lessons you teach.
We invite you to review the following recommendations for successful teaching.
Emphasize the changes you made, the new dates and the means of delivery. Also, make sure that the calendar includes the date, time, and medium of your synchronous sessions.
This situation may require greater flexibility of delivery, so it is important to be clear about what you expect from your students and what they can expect from you. Consider the situation your students may face (e.g. lack of electricity and/or internet) and be aware of possible adjustments you may need to make during the evaluation of the activities.
Develop a communication plan with your students to maintain a continuous, close and timely relationship during the academic year. The plan should include the means of contact, the hours of operation and the response time. Some useful tools are email, Remind, Facebook, Slack and WhatsApp, among others.
When you teach in digital modes, written communication becomes relevant, so we recommend you:
- Write in a detailed, but precise and brief
- Use upper and lower case
- Avoid the red color.
- Customize messages when possible
- Sends reminders to the whole group on topics of importance to everyone (weekly activities, exams, among others).
Use tools like Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, etc. If a student cannot attend the programmed counseling, be flexible and consider your possibilities to agree on another time with him/her.
Zoom is a video-conference tool that allows you to keep a class interactive with your students using audio, video and text.
During your class you will be able to present a topic, carry out individual and/or collaborative activities, take exams, resolve doubts, review project progress, etc.
As an example, consider the following cases:
- Exposure of a topic. Surely to expose a topic you have some presentations ready; you can share them with the Share button at the bottom of the screen. You can also share a video that allows you to illustrate the topic and take advantage of a change of stimulus for the student. In this case, selecting the Share button also selects share computer sound. See share documents in Zoom
- Teamwork. Use the Zoom Breakout Rooms, this feature allows you to create teams manually or randomly, plus you can see how each team works and give them your feedback. See Organizing a Breakout Room
- Numerical explanations. Zoom has a blackboard where you can write and allow your students to write. You can also connect a tablet to your computer and share what you write there with your students. See using a whiteboard in Zoom and using a tablet in Zoom.
- Redesign your classroom activities. You can design your lesson activities according to your content needs, for example, to:
- Generate interest: through trigger questions, videos or reflective texts.
- Decision making: use case discussion, role play, dilemmas
- Comprehension: perform quizzes or mind maps
- Collaboration: trigger discussions, plenary or team debates
- Action: exercises, simulators, videos.
- If during your session there are problems with your or your students’ Internet, don’t stress, you can ask them to review the material on their platform; you can prepare a presentation or make a video. See step-by-step guide to making a video.
- To maintain greater control of your group, you need to ask students to do the following:
- Enter Zoom with their enrolment number and name; this way you can call them by name, get their attendance with a screen print.
- Take the class in a place free of distractions, and use headphones
- Keep your video on during class
- Remember that Zoom classes are an extension of the institution and must therefore maintain appropriate behavior.
- Additionally, we present you the following recommendations to have a smoothly synchronized class.
- Connect to a stable network, preferably a wired one to ensure transmission quality. Connect a few minutes before the class to test that your microphone and headset are working properly. It is highly recommended that you use headphones to isolate ambient sound.
- Try to be in a quiet environment, without noise or distractions.
- Take care of your camera position so that your image is centered.
- Ensure that the lighting is adequate and that no distractions are visible in the background.
- Mute the microphones of the whole group when you enter the session,
- Be sure to record the class so your students can review it as many times as they want.
- Take care of the time you use for each section
- Close all the applications and documents that you will not use and leave only the necessary ones.
- Try using a tablet before class, don’t improvise
- Eliminate the use of video in case of audio problems. This should be the exception, as it is important for students to see you.
Contingency is not a limitation. You can do the collaborative work synchronously through Zoom’s Breakout Rooms; or asynchronously through the Canvas or Blackboard forum section, as well as tools such as Google Drive, Padlet, among others.
Remember that your students will be able to perform them synchronously during the sessions under your supervision or asynchronously using the Respondus tool to avoid copies. We will then share information with you for the scheduling of your exams.
Through Blackboard or Canvas, you can follow the progress of your students. The platforms make it easy to deliver activities, schedule tests, record grades, and view your students’ progress.
When you give feedback in digital media it is very relevant to give the student enough information to identify their achievements, as well as the aspects to improve. Platforms like Canvas allows you to provide multimodal feedback, i.e. you can incorporate text, audio and video into the feedback, making it richer and more personalized to the student’s needs. In the following link we share some important points to achieve an effective feedback. To incorporate multimodal feedback in Canvas we recommend check the following link (Feedback in Canvas.)
In this period of academic continuity, both you and your students need to communicate as much as possible. Closeness and empathy become the main tools to make sure that everything develops in the best possible way, despite the adverse circumstances.
We recommend that you use the attached forms and tutorials to facilitate this process.