Before you even start to consider moving your course online, just remember the following words of advice:
- Be kind to yourself and your students. Everyone is stressed, even if they’re playing it cool. That’s normal and okay. You can refer students to number of CIT Student Services for additional support . CIT HR also provides its Employee Assistance Programme for its staff.
- It’s okay that the quality of education may not be as good in alternative formats as it is in the pedagogical model you planned for. Everyone is just trying to get through this difficult and unprecedented situation.
- There’s no need to become an expert on best practices for distance learning overnight. Distance learning can be really excellent, when time and planning allow. But that’s not the goal here. Don’t hold yourself to that standard.
- Moving a class to a distance learning model in a day’s time is an impossible task. You will not be able to recreate your classroom. Give yourself a break. Check with your department, school, or faculty for guidelines or expectations for online classes.
- Prioritise what students really need to know for the next few weeks. This is difficult, and, once again, means the quality of teaching and learning will suffer. But these are not normal circumstances.
- If you’re using new tool(s), consider giving assignments as lower or no stakes and using practice assessments before real ones. Get students used to just using the tool. Then you can do something higher stakes, if you need to.
- Stay in regular contact with students and stay transparent. Make sure students know when and where new module material will be posted. Talk to them about why you’re prioritising and assigning certain things, just as you would in face-to-face teaching, substantial changes to the syllabus require clear communication with students.
- Be particularly sensitive to your final year students.They’re already panicking and need to hear from you that everything is going to be okay. If you teach a class where students need to complete something for post-graduation plans, figure out and communicate a Plan B as soon as you can.
- TLU and AnSEO - The Student Engagement Office has a team of experienced staff that may be able to help you. So, if you need help or just want to talk through your plan, contact us and we will do our best to help.
The above advice has been adapted from a Facebook post by Amy Young, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Pacific Lutheran University.