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Resources for Emergency Short-Term Teaching & Working Remotely: Tips for Teaching Remotely

Key Principles for Emergency Remote Teaching

There are a million resources out there to help people continue teaching during this emergency remote situation. It's easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what to do next, so first and foremost, here are some principles to guide you:

  • Center Yourself. Sit back and relax your shoulders. Take slow, deep, cleansing breaths in, hold, and out for one minute. Do this regularly. This is a stressful situation and calming your mind and body is key.
  • Communicate. Touch base with instructors and faculty with whom you have scheduled sessions. Ask if they would like for you to still deliver your session content in one way or another, or postpone it at this time.
  • Be Flexible. Be as flexible as possible. You will likely have to rearrange and re-do many things, but so will the students and University employees (virtually) around you.
  • Care. This is a time of fear and displacement for many. Lives will be turned upside down, so remember you, your students, and the people you work with are humans also undergoing this upheaval. Put care for self and others above perfectly planned lessons.
  • Revise expectations. You'll likely have to revise your expectations for teaching and learning, and that's okay. Things will look differently. Be realistic and go with it.
  • Keep it simple. There is no need to make instruction perfect and polished right now. In fact, please don't! Additionally, there are plenty of technology tools out there for distance learning. Now is not the time to learn and implement all of them. Keep it simple and try to use tools you already know, or at least limit your learning to a few necessary ones.

ITLE: Tips for Shifting Your Course Online

The following tips come from OK State's Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ITLE). Although they are for moving whole classes online, the tips are still helpful for moving Library sessions online!

  1. What are your objectives for the time you will be teaching online? In other words, what do you want your students to learn? Once you know this, it will help you determine what ways you want to teach and what learning experiences you want to design for your students.

  2. What student learning activities did you have planned and how can you translate those to the online environment? The university adopted Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas has many features that can support active student learning including Discussions, Studio, and Collaborations.

  3. Determine the instructional methods you wish to use to deliver the content. For example, you can use the Studio feature to create short lectures or provide special readings for students. You might wish to add an activity to engage the students in the content like a discussion or learning task.

  4. Decide how you want to assess students’ learning. Just like in face-to-face classes, we often use short activities or quizzes to see if students understood the lesson. Canvas has features like Quizzes to help you do this. Or you can plan an activity the students must complete and upload to Canvas for you to review.

  5. Use asynchronous teaching approaches when appropriate.

  6. Use Canvas and its many features to deliver your course.

  7. Communicate with your students promptly and effective. Provide clear, detailed instructions and prompt feedback for assignments.

Asynchronous Teaching & Learning

Defining Asynchronous Instruction

Asynchronous instruction is when teaching materials are created in advance and provided to students to access at their convenience. The decision to create and deliver this type of instruction is obviously made in concert with your instructors, however during this time of disruption, asynchronous instruction is a more flexible option for students who may have their lives disrupted by the current emergency situation. When at all possible, it is best to choose asynchronous during this time.

Options for Creating Asynchronous Instruction

With any instructional decision, you should always first decide what you want students to be able to say and do following the instruction. Your lesson outcomes should guide your instructional choices. With that in mind, visit the page "Tools for Teaching Remotely" to review some options and associated tools for creating asynchronous instruction.