Do you need to replace a large collaborative class with online activities? Is it difficult to get all of your students online at the same time? Read our tips for rethinking campus activities for remote learning.
- Think about how you would usually provide instructions and content to students in your class. Can this be provided through Canvas? You might find it helpful to think of these sequences of instructions and content as ‘patterns’.
- One simple pattern is the ‘Watch/read, Do’ pattern. Direct the student to watch/read a video or reading and then for the student to do something such as reflect, answer, apply, or respond. A simple pattern like this can help students know what is expected of them and give a clear structure for you to follow in moving some of your in-class content online.
Some common patterns used in on-campus class are listed below matched with some suggestions for transforming them to online activities.
- In-class: Start with a welcome and some house-keeping.
- Online: Provide a welcome audio, or some dot-points for what to expect. This could be an overview of the first topic or task. Include how long you expect this to take, and give some context.
- In-class: ‘Engage’ or ‘bridge’ students’ understanding. Is there a hook? A controversial question or prompt? How do you usually motivate students with this topic or task in class? Is it a personal anecdote, linking to their prior knowledge, an interesting fact?
- Online: Add these as text under the Overview (it could also be a quick audio or video so you don’t lose your great telling of the anecdote!).
- In-class: A pre-assessment. Do you ask for a show of hands on a particular piece of knowledge? Or look at the facial expressions to gauge how familiar students seem with a new topic?
- Online: Is there something students should be aware of? Something they should already know? Now might be the time for a quick self-diagnostic question, quiz or poll. This step will also give you good feedback on how prepared students feel.
- In-class: This is the content driven piece of your class. You might do a quick 20-minute presentation in class here or do a guided reading.
- Online: This could be a recording of your 20-minute presentation, or you might include some readings, a video, or link out to a resource such as a documentary or article. But don’t forget to provide the ‘teacher speak’ you would give in class. Why is this reading important? What cultural understanding of the video is needed?
- In-class: How then do students explore this idea? Is there an activity students can participate in to develop these skills
- Online: How can students take this idea and elaborate online? Is there some additional research they can pull together and share? Students could co-create an annotated bibliography of useful content in a discussion board thread or collaborative document.
- In-class: Do you get students to apply understanding in group work?
- Online: How can students try out the concept through Canvas? Consider including a quiz, a written response task, a reflection, or 3-minute filmed explanation. Students can apply understanding individually or in a group to summarise the key points in a discussion post.
- In-class: Collate, respond and evaluate. Do students report back to the wider class?
- Online: If students have been providing their work back to the wider class through discussions or collaborative documents you could sum up the most important points for the whole group. If students have been working individually this could be the time to pull them back to a single point and summarise the work. This could also be a written signal to students that they have completed this body of work and a few tips for how it relates to next week’s tasks.