Some top tips to keep in mind when planning to teach remotely:
It is important to remember that good teaching online brings with it some of the same principles as good teaching face to face. A strong teacher presence, engaged learning communities, contact time between teacher and student and for students in pairs or groups. The following tips are designed to facilitate that as simply as possible and minimise disruption both for you and your students.
Keep it simple. See the technology as servicing some core teaching function and only choose what you need. Video for lectures (if you lecture), discussion boards for debates and dialogue, a virtual learning environment for hosting your content, a well-structured reading list, maybe a blog for student reflection and group work.
Get professional advice and ask for help early on if you can. Speak to your school learning technologist and IT support; information services staff and librarians are here to help and advise.
Communicate with students. This is critical. Let them know we are trying something new and why. Let them know where to go and who to contact if they run into difficulty. Get them talking on the discussion boards with prompts and questions at regular intervals.
Discuss with your colleagues and networks of contacts at other universities how they may have used technology in similar situations teaching in similar disciplines. Many universities offer the same or very similar learning technologies, so sharing practice can be helpful to someone you know.
Your students may already know you, but you need to show them you are present online: a picture of yourself, some short videos, encouragement on the discussion boards. Videos don’t need to be perfect. Showing personality has currency in the online space.
Consider assessments. Do you need to rethink the assessments if you are moving online? You might. There are many ways to assess online and most aren’t too complicated.
Consider which parts of your course such as fieldwork, labs, studios and practicals may have to be cancelled or changed. Think about the adjustments you have previously made for students with disabilities, are those alternative versions appropriate for all your students now?
Do the best you can 🙂 we understand this will be new and different for many teachers.
I find myself writing papers to support the institution-wide roll out of lecture capture again. You’d think I would have nailed this by now.
I always find it interesting to note that on the one hand colleagues are concerned to see evidence that lecture capture will not affect lecture attendance and on the other that it should be proven to bring about new ways of teaching. So it should bring no change and yet bring change. Which is a big ask for any tech.
At University of Edinburgh we talk a lot about ‘digital shift’. That the digital should transform and offer new ways of learning rather than just replicate the old ways. So my challenge is to show how students will learn in new ways using the digital version of a lecture while still valuing the analogue lecture above all.
I have been looking for information about how students attend lectures, and about how they use online materials. Recorded lectures are the digital version of the lecture and are available online as resources.
It seems like in general, the universities are on the right track. 59 UK Universities replied to the UCISA TEL survey saying they have lecture capture systems to create digital recordings, and students replied to the Student Lifestyle survey to say that they rarely miss lectures. They also want even more online materials.
61% of students said they never missed a lecture, up from 52% who said the same thing in our 2010 survey. But 38% of respondents admit they do miss the occasional lecture, with students failing to turnup for around one teaching engagement a week on average (0.9). Those doing medicine or a health-related subject are most likely to have a 100% attendance record (74%), despite their relatively high number of lectures. Those doing arts and humanities subjects are also more conscientious than most (68% never missed a lecture), while maths, computing and technology students are most inclined to miss lecture (52% regularly skipped a class). The majority of students (55%) state that they use online resources over traditional text documents (23% favoured these), with 21% stating they use a mix.
Those who most heavily relied on online study resources were, unsurprisingly, those doing maths, computing and technology (48% used online resources for most of their study) compared to 22% of trainee medics and 26% of law students. Men are slightly more likely to rely heavily on online materials (57% said they used more online resources) than women (52% did), while second and third year students (55%) were also greater users of online resources than first-years (52%).
Only 8% of students used standard textbooks, journals and photocopied hand-outs for most of their study, though this rose to 10% for those reading business and management or a social science subject. The survey indicates 43% of students said they would prefer to use online study resources – slightly fewer than the 55% who actually use this method – compared to 26% of respondents who said they wanted to use paper-based resources in general, with 38% stating a preference to use both.