Cinco De Mayo
Why You Shouldn't Try to Replicate
Not Translation. Adaptation.
When colleges shut down in-person classes this spring, many instructors took pains to say that what was offered instead was not online learning. Other terms have been offered up — emergency online teaching, remote instruction — though probably none is quite right.
The distinction between online learning and the scrambling to adjust courses midstream was initially pushed by instructors and experts who know that well-designed online courses and programs are effective. They were worried that students’ and professors’ experiences this semester would give online learning a bad name
But maybe the distinction also mattered to professors who never imagined they would teach online. Perhaps that’s why some of them tried so hard to replicate their existing course in synchronous video conferences, despite the many arguments against this format from online-teaching experts.
I’ve been thinking about this more since I interviewed Robin DeRosa, who directs the Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative at Plymouth State University, for my
about Zoom fatigue. DeRosa, who is also a professor of interdisciplinary studies, described some of the online tools she favors in her own teaching — tools that let her connect with students differently than they could face-to-face. For instance, she uses an app called Hypothesis, which lets people socially annotate a text.
Even Zoom, which so many professors are already teaching with, could be used to do more than gather the class in one online place, DeRosa says. In class discussions of a text, for instance, she has included its author on the platform.
This would be a great time, she says, “for professors from different institutions to start putting their classes in conversation with each other, because we’re all online anyway, and we have to use these tools.” Instead, DeRosa says, many professors have mostly tried to replicate what they were doing face-to-face.
To continue reading this article click
Workshop on Online Teaching - Faculty Volunteers Needed
The article above discusses online teaching and how we need to look to adapt not translate our courses. With this said, to complement work led by the Faculty Senate to support faculty in online pedagogy and technology use, the Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning (FCTL) and the Office of Distance Education and Instructional Design (DEID) will be hosting an intensive virtual workshop on best pedagogical and technology practices to support online learning
. We are looking for faculty volunteers with online teaching expertise to assist with the development and delivery of the workshop.
Those who volunteer would attend several virtual meetings in late May and early June, and assist in delivering content during the workshop itself. Faculty volunteers will share their knowledge and successes, and demonstrate how they deliver content in an online environment.
If you would like to be part of the team to assist in the preparation of the workshop, or if you have questions about the upcoming workshop, email Daryl Privott/FCTL at
As usual, I'm asking that you document and share what you are doing during the online pivot. Let's build a database of tools and strategies. We are living during an historic time so let's use this time to make a moment!
Let's continue to communicate