On the heels of a global pandemic, we have all been asked to quickly adapt to our new surroundings – in most cases our living room – and to carry on with delivering quality education. For many of us, this means scrambling to make our once classroom-based educational materials online-ready for the first time.
Where do we begin?
Dr. Erin Macri joins Dr. Jackie Whittaker in the latest BJSM podcast to share tips and tricks for both delivering and receiving effective, high quality online education. Dr. Whittaker has delivered online university-level education for over six years, and her experience and insight are invaluable during these difficult times.
Dr. Whittaker is a Canadian-trained Physical Therapist and currently works as an Assistant Professor in Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her main research interests lie in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and in particular she aims to prevent and reduce the burden of knee OA in individuals following traumatic knee injury.
ONLINE TEACHING IN COVID-19 ERA RESOURCES
Dr. Jackie Whittaker
- Wired connection
- Good webcam
- Muting – background knowledge on the platform. Encourage instructors and students to practice or watch an instructions video, set up the platform for their personal preference prior to the first class, etc.
- Front lighting > backlighting
- IT support support availability (timely)
- Test run
- One of the most important ways in which online instruction differs from in-person instruction is that there are fewer opportunities for students to express themselves, to have a voice – there is a real possibility for miscommunication. Some key points to consider are:
- Typically, communication moves from being in-person where there are synchronous verbal and non-verbal cues to being through email where the two persons communication don’t have the benefit of the cues or having a real time conversation. This requires a different skill set.
- Effective communication will depend on well thought out questions and responses. Students need to be able to clearly state their needs.
- Instructors will often see a large increase in emails that they are receiving from students.
- Remind students that online discussions are not blogs or social media, and therefore students need to spend some time formulating their questions and any responses they provide (you might want to give out a few marks for quality of online posts).
Communities of Practice
- World Confederation for Physical Therapy Network for Physical Therapist Educators
- In Beta – virtual community of physiotherapy educators who experiment with different approaches to teaching and learning, podcasts hosted by Ben Ellis from Birmingham in the UK and Michael Rowe from Cape Town, South Africa. They have a google drive with some useful resources and have hosted a few Zoom discussions.
- Elsevier best practices for teaching remotely
- Epigeum (group at Oxford University Press that design and deliver university and college online courses) courses for Teaching Online and Blended Learning (combination of online face-to-face and online asynchronous content)
- Providing continuity for students
- Online content through Physiopedia (a charity, not for profit organizations that aims to improve global health through universal access to physiotherapy knowledge – 30 day free access to all universities)
- How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students – a free FutureLearn course exploring online teaching for educators designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (started 23rd March)
- A Planful Move to Teaching Online: Useful Resources for Educators Blog from National Institute for Digital Learning in Dublin
- School closure: How to teach online and learn from home with CK-12 – Video tutorial on how to set up remote learning quickly on CK-12 (a free interactive learning platform).
- Please do a bad job of putting your courses online – a thought-provoking blog for academics moving their teaching online at short notice due to coronavirus. The point of the post is that you should go ahead and do it now. Not when it’s perfect. Not even when it’s “ready”. Do it now. Improve it later.
- Dave Cormier has created a fantastic set of short YouTube videos called Online learning in a hurry,which aims to provide those new to online learning with guidance around the most common challenges you might face.
- Low-bandwidth, low immediacy (asynchronous) approaches
- Suggestions for moving away from the traditional assessment such as a 2-hour written exam that tests recall, towards other methods such as project- or essay-based assessments.
- A collection of tools, platforms and services that you may not be aware of, organised by the task you may be looking for students to complete. This resource is a publicly editable Google Doc. Useful if you know what problem you have to solve but don’t know all the options you have available to you.
- Ton of tools and 10 things to do if you’re new to online learning – Blog by Donald Clark
- Teaching effectively during times of disruption – Document from Stanford University
- Elsevier strategies for online learning
- A student toolkit to help you tackle remote learning written by students for students – blog covering resources and tools to support students adjusting to remote learning
- Learning to Learn – An ‘In Beta project’ led by Michael Rowe aimed at using evidence-based techniques to improve your ability to learn. Modules added regularly, current ones include:
- Creating new habits (the need to develop new habits around learning where the traditional triggers – walking into a lecture theatre – are now absent)
- Focus and avoiding distractions (especially useful for students who now have to move their learning solely online, which is often designed to distract us).
- Learning Management System (stick with what your institution has)
- Canvas – collaborate Ultra (up to 250 participants)
- Recording Asynchronous Sessions
- Discussion Groups
- Institutions Learning Management System
- Hosting Synchronous Sessions
- Institutions Learning Management System
- Zoom + Slido
- Skype for Business