For many instructors, teaching during the pandemic required a fundamental reorganization of course design and teaching strategies. While there is no question that the pandemic created hardship for both instructors and students, many faculty have discovered powerful and positive new strategies that students have welcomed. Choose from among the following teaching and learning strategies, which continue to add value as we transition back to face-to-face learning at IU. Faculty identified these strategies, and consultants at the campus teaching centers collected them. The strategies align with research and data collected by other institutions of higher learning.
What Should We Keep?
Thanks to the following groups for providing input on this document: OOE, OCAP, eDS, UITS Learning Technologies, FACET, the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning, and the IUB Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.
1. Use Canvas (and the IU course template) for classes in all modalities.
- The modules in Canvas facilitate student progression through course content and assignments.
- The calendar in Canvas helps students create a to-do list for upcoming assignments.
- Canvas allows students to submit assignments electronically.
- Faculty can use Canvas to post the syllabus and course content (including recorded lectures).
2. Provide electronic class materials.
- Order required materials via IU eTexts.
- Use tools like Zoom, Kaltura, Lightboard, Jamboard, or VoiceThread to produce short videos that showcase important concepts and provide explanations and supplemental exercises (e.g., case studies, problem sets, and problem examples).
- Create collaborative class notes with tools like the Q&A in InScribe, OneNote, Google Docs, Hypothesis, Engage, or VoiceThread.
3. Promote online communication and collaboration.
- Keep online office hours using Zoom, Jamboard, Google Docs, Google Chat, or Microsoft Teams.
- Make communications timely with Zoom chat, InScribe, Canvas announcements, Microsoft Teams chat, or Google Chat.
- Encourage student interaction by using collaborative tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides; Jamboard; interactive whiteboards; InScribe, VoiceThread, or CN Post.
- Create breakout Zoom rooms in hybrid courses to allow students to learn collaboratively using Jamboard or Google Draw.
- Use Zoom rooms to facilitate independent group work. Students can record their group meetings and then submit the recordings to fulfill an assignment. Instructors can see how students interact in order to complete their work.
4. Meet students where they are by building an online community.
- Conduct surveys to discover students’ work/life challenges, their career aspirations, their personal interests, and their access to resources like technology.
- Have icebreakers to create a sense of team and assess students’ affective state.
- Invite students to bring the real world into your course with informal chat spaces like CN Post, InScribe’s Q&A, or Microsoft Teams chat.
- Do small assessments frequently using Top Hat, Quick Check, or Canvas Quizzes.
- Find online guest speakers who can give place-bound students access to worldwide expertise.
5. Be flexible.
- Provide flexible assignment deadlines or use built-in extension options. In the Canvas Assignment tool, you can set a deadline and a different date for how long an assignment is open. Moreover, you can add a deadline for a single student, multiple students, or a predefined group that is different from the rest of the class.
- Give students several options for completing assignments: traditional papers, videos, or other creative options. Google Assignments in Canvas allows students to submit assignments using several different file types, and Canvas plugins to the Rich Content Editor also make it possible to submit assignments in different formats.
- Offer students who miss class an option for catching up. Provide electronic materials and makeup assignments. Use annotated eTexts, Zoom or Kaltura for mini lectures, Google Docs for group-work reports, Top Hat for assignments between class sessions, or the Q&A community in InScribe for questions to instructors, teaching assistants, and peers.