Your Spring 22 Planning Guide
As we look towards the Spring 2022 term, there continues to be uncertainty about the impact of COVID on our teaching plans. What can you do now to plan for a successful semester? The following planning guide will help you focus your planning efforts.
General guidelines to consider:
- Provide Flexibility. We know students need it, and we know that faculty want to provide it. How can we do this successfully, efficiently, and mindfully, perhaps also with an eye toward continued innovation?
- Within Limits. Consider the goals of offering flexible options and know that they come with some challenges. Your planning will vary depending on whether you’re responding to short-term quarantine needs, accessibility accommodations, athletic schedules, or simply accommodating student preference. Consider the overall objectives of the course and how flexibility can enhance, rather than detract from, the learning experience.
- Whether you are planning a fully in-person experience, remote instruction, or some combination of the two, chances are there will be unforeseen complications. Timely, transparent communication reassures students and minimizes the impact of these complications.
Is your course suitable for online delivery?
Do you have approval from your department chair or dean to consider fully remote instruction? If so, consider the following questions to determine whether your course is a good fit for this format:
- Can your course content be organized logically and consistently from week to week?
- Do your course materials, assignments, activities, and assessments lend themselves to online delivery? If not, do you see ways you could make adjustments so that students could engage with these resources online?
- Are you comfortable communicating with your students more regularly through various online communication channels such as email, recorded videos, Zoom meetings, or Sakai tools (forums, messages, announcements, feedback on assignments, etc.)?
- Are you comfortable using the appropriate online tools available to deliver your course content (Panopto, Zoom, Sakai, Poll Everywhere, VoiceThread, etc.)?
- Does your course lend itself to a more flexible teaching model where students may engage with materials at different times, and where students may interact with you and other students asynchronously?
- Do you feel that students will be able to adequately meet the learning objectives for your course if the course is offered online?
- Do you know where to find strategies and resources to help you create an engaging online learning experience for your students?
In-Person Delivery with Flexible Options
If in-person instruction is a better option for your course, remember that you can still provide flexibility and benefit from the use of digital approaches. Here are some variations on in-person instruction to consider:
- In-person and remote (Zoom room) students attend class together
- Both in-person and remote students interact with the instructor/classmates during the class session, which may include group work that pairs in-class students with remote students
- Sessions are typically recorded, and recordings are available for later viewing
- Instructors may allow students to view recordings/complete an alternate assignment to make-up for missed synchronous session attendance
- Ideal for smaller (under 50 students) discussion-heavy courses with active learning activities and frequent student contributions
- For more information about this option, check out the IR implementation guide
- In-person attendance is strongly encouraged and may be required and/or incentivized, but students may attend class remotely (via Zoom room). Remote attendance options may be determined by factors such as—but not limited to—ARS accommodation, university approved absences, or instructor permission
- Typically, only in-person students interact with the instructor/classmates during the class session so remote students may not be able to participate in activities such as group work
- Sessions may be recorded, but instructors may choose not to record classes or choose not to make recordings available
- Instructors may allow students to complete an alternate assignment based on the livestream and/or recording to make-up for missed in-person attendance
- Ideal for any size class with frequent Q&A elements, in-class activities, demonstrations, or similar pedagogical approaches.
- For more information about livestreaming, check out this classroom technology set-up checklist
- In-person attendance is strongly encouraged and may be required and/or incentivized; recordings supplement in-person attendance
- Remote students may not be able to participate in the instructor-student and student-student interaction happening in the classroom
- Session recordings are available to all students after the class sessions, and students are encouraged to watch recordings for review
- Instructors may allow students to view recordings/complete an alternative graded assignment to make-up for missed in-person attendance
- Ideal for large or lecture-heavy courses
- For more information about class recording, check out this list of best practices for recording classes
- Recordings supplement in-person attendance
- Instructor and/or student classroom interaction may be based on recorded content
- Recordings are available to all students before any class sessions based on the lecture material, and students are encouraged to watch recordings to prepare for class
- Instructors may also ask students to complete graded assignments, before or during the class session, based on these recordings, but viewing recordings is not intended to replace in-person attendance
- Ideal for courses of any size following a “flipped” or active-learning focused model
- For more information about pre-recording lectures, check out this video recording tip sheet
For more information on flexible teaching, check out the Flexible Teaching Guide.
Your instruction can also be enhanced with a range of tools for asynchronous participation, allowing students flexibility outside of the classroom.
- Discussion Forums: Forums allow students to interact outside of the classroom, build community, and encourage deeper engagement with course materials.
- Pre-recorded Lectures: Whether developing a flipped classroom strategy, providing lesson introductions, or as a supplement to classroom lectures, video lectures can be an effective tool if designed thoughtfully.
- VoiceThread: This powerful tool can take virtual discussions to the next level and can also be used for student presentations and virtual lectures.