3:24PM Sep 16, 2020
Hi, I'm Elizabeth Bellows. I'm from the C and I Department, Associate Professor of Social Studies Education. I'm also the inclusive excellence faculty fellow in the College of Education, my pronouns are she her hers, and I'd like to introduce my co presenter today, Dr. Amy Cheney.
I'm Amy Cheney. I'm the Director of Digital Teaching and Learning for the College of Education and a Professor of Instructional Technology. My pronouns are also she, her and hers
And today we're going to be presenting on classroom management for remote learning. We'd like to share with you today,
sort of a top 10 list - 10 strategies for managing your online classroom. This is an overview and so it can serve as a good intro for thinking about classroom management within a virtual space
Students are having some interesting experiences in our virtual spaces this fall as they were in the spring. These next few slides are some examples from social media and they show some assumptions that seem to be pretty common. For example, this professor is saying, develop a disaster plan and have an alternate location to log in and submit your work. You have to adjust. Computer failures, internet problems are not adequate for not being able to participate in a timely fashion. On this next slide, we see a student saying that she's still getting used to wearing a scarf in her own house and that's why she hasn't turned on her video. In the bottom example, we see a student who was cut off from taking a quiz, because the Wi Fi shut down and wanted to make the effort to take a quiz again for full credit and the professor said get better Wi Fi access and will not reopen the quiz for the students to take again. So we've got some issues, I think, in the realm of classroom management and we hope today to talk about some strategies for being mindful and inclusive in the ways in which we interact with our students in these environments.
I think Hani Morgan has an appropriate quote for us to take into consideration as we talk about inclusive learning in online spaces. "During stressful times, heart and passion may be more important than the content needing to be covered." We want to keep that in mind as we go through these strategies with you today. It's a good idea to start it out in your online class with some group norms. And we've offered some here in both synchronous and asynchronous formats for you to consider. So for group norm development in a synchronous space, you might utilize a virtual whiteboard with sticky notes. You might be familiar with Padlet, which reminds me at the end of the presentation, we'll have a list of resources for you. So anything that we mentioned here in the presentation, in terms of resources that will be included for you at the end. So the Padlet allows for brainstorming and for folks commenting on ideas, you can also use something called talk moves that allows group ideas to form, and you can gain consensus using talk moves. And so that's a great synchronous discussion tool. And then are in order to form your norms. And so make sure also that you're referring to these norms often throughout class. In asynchronous environments, you might identify safe spaces, discussion forums, or Padlet. Again for the sharing of ideas. As the instructor you can compile ideas and make these available for comments in another video forum. And then students can discuss or vote for or add ideas. Google Docs works well for this too. That works in real time students sharing on one document, you can also discuss how those norms will look in a remote environment. So what does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it sound like in those environments, when you develop your norms.
Once you have those things in place, then we talk about the actual meetings, the time that you spend with students and the ways in which we greet them. It's important to greet students by name and your synchronous sessions. It makes them feel like they're an actual part of what is happening. It's also really important to think about pronouns allow students to introduce themselves both so that you can understand the ways in which they pronounce their names and the pronouns that they choose. They can also -you also as an instructor can consider the rename function in zoom, so that people's pronouns are included and everyone is addressed in the ways that are appropriate to them.
Great, and that helps with creating welcoming spaces as well. And so, a couple of things you can do to create a welcoming space. Once you've created your norms, and everyone's been introduced with their pronouns. Try to log in early to class just as you would in a face to face class you would be there early to sort of field some questions perhaps provide an opportunity for informal conversation and checking in with each other. Greeting people by name. Consider using a welcome slide as folks come in and sharing your screen that can contain a quote background music, or an outline of the day your agenda for the day, and then encourage students to create welcome slides with text and music of their choosing. So that they can sprinkle in their own identities and preferences into your classroom.
Just as important as creating a welcoming space is being cognizant of giving students opportunities for social interaction with one another. This creates community - creates a sense of presence, and allows them to feel like they are part of a greater whole - a learning community. So a very simple strategy that you can use to help students ask random or informal or social questions is something like a q&a or an ask it basket in your asynchronous forum, so that they can check in or just talk about things that are on their mind that may or may not be directly related to the content of the week. Students that I've spoken with or heard from have been very invested in the notion of check in sessions in zoom. They like the idea of just coming in for a short period of time, for that same kind of informal conversation or the opportunity to ask questions. And as we think about the fact that many of our students are likely isolated in their home environments, this also gives them an opportunity to connect with you and with their peers. And in the same vein, it's important to provide opportunities for them to interact outside of class. And this can look like a whole lot of things. You could have a hashtag on Twitter, that is for your class where people can share resources. You could use other social media, you can have an Insta tag for your class. I'd say Facebook, but students roll their eyes now when you mentioned Facebook, but certainly, there are all sorts of tools and strategies that can be utilized for group projects, to allow students to work together and be with one another in social ways.
So after creating your social spaces as you are thinking about creating your social spaces. We really need to think about how we're using video and how we can use video use video in inclusive ways. And we found a great infographic. But I want to focus right here on the center of the infographic to talk about really why this matters before we talk about what to do and what not to do. But first of all, first and foremost, students might be uncomfortable displaying their living space to their peers. You see today I have a virtual background, that's for a reason. And your students might be sharing space with roommates with parents with younger children, siblings, we just can't make any assumptions about their living space and so we have to respect that privacy. It might be a safety concern. Students in their family members may not want their image captured. A lot of us are recording our zoom videos and putting them on YouTube for students who might be abstinent to go back and review. And so we need to be respectful of folks choice in terms of safety and what they feel is safe for them. And that's their choice. In terms of equity. Dr. Cheney shared with you earlier a student experience. Someone had their internet dropped off during a quiz. And so I think all of us have experienced some sort of technical difficulty at some point in our lives, whether it's while we're teaching or while we're trying to talk with our family members on FaceTime. And so we need to be sensitive to equity issues in terms of reliable internet access, low bandwidth devices without video capabilities, or limited access to a device I know in my house for a while we were sharing devices and so before we figured out the Rename feature on zoom, sometimes the wrong name would Come up. And so we can't hold students responsible for their internet access, or the video capabilities that their particular device has. So we need to be cognizant of that. And if they're logging in and they're making effort, we need to be sensitive to their needs. Finally, students might feel shy or anxious to be on camera, there could be a number of personal reasons that we couldn't list here such as the student who was getting used to wearing a scarf in our own home and didn't feel comfortable being on video.
because of that, we recommend that you don't connect students video use an eye contact to participation points or grading or attendance. I had a student asked me yesterday if she showed up to class and she wasn't feeling well and turned her video off what I count her absent. And so the fact that she even had to ask me that question really made me think about this in terms of equity. Please don't remove students from the meeting if their videos are not on. Please don't trick students into turning on their videos. And please don't give extra credit to students who have their video on or more participation points for having video on instead. Let's think in a more inclusive way. Let's think about choice. Lets students decide whether to turn it on, keep it on and allow them to use blurred backgrounds, virtual backgrounds, whatever makes them feel comfortable. There, do a real time check in ask questions often to assess student understanding. provide multiple ways for them to engage throughout your class allow them to respond via audio or virtual meeting tools. The chat box is really useful here. Polls and nonverbal reactions. I find that useful as well. And so there are multiple ways to check in without having them be visible on the screen. You can use this assessment tools as well, you can collect different types of data. Think about using Google Forms, or some of these other resources here, pull everywhere. And even in an asynchronous environment, something like group meet to where you can sample or asynchronously work on things together and have a conversation going, can help you with assessment and engagement, as opposed to a punitive attendance taking through video.
That really ties directly into the issue of attendance policies. I think we all probably have a story from a student at some point who has added for example, in my own experience, I've taught online for years now I had a student who was suggesting that she joined from the hospital while she was in labor. Because it is so ingrained and the expectations have been such that if you are not There, then something bad's going to happen to you as a student. So in this time, we really need to think about what our attendance policies look like and what they're for, and what purpose they are serving in terms of instruction. So I'm one of these people probably like many of you have kids who are doing zoom school as they call it at home. And I've watched some really great examples from their k 12. teachers who are not insisting that they be on camera all day long. But instead are thinking in terms of engagement, maybe a Google form, check in to talk about what they have been reading or viewing that day, sending them off to do group work or to do individual work and perhaps coming back in later in a class period to talk about the things that they've done. There are lots of ways to check if tech is the word you want to use or assess whether students are engaged with content without necessary Having to have them in a space at a time. And in many cases, learning goals can be achieved more easily when we're thinking in these terms. It's also extremely important as Dr. Bellows mentioned earlier, to record sessions for those who cannot attend. We have a number of students right now who are taking online courses from home. They have work schedules, they are caretakers for people around them. And they still want to actively participate in their education, but there may be a number of reasons why they can't be in a place at a time. So, us being proactive about recording our sessions and making those available through recordings, transcripts, notes, etc. is a real service to them and can aid in their engagement when attendance is sometimes just not possible. So in
terms of groups and breakout rooms, So we know that zoom fatigue is a real thing. And so as we're being cognizant about just keeping our students the entire time that we have class in a synchronous way online, we can break up some of that fatigue with some groups and breakout rooms. And so we wanted to talk specifically about adding group topic choices with numbers. So ways that you can break up your students into groups. You can use the rename feature in zoom. So you see right now that Dr. Cheney and I have our names displayed. And in zoom, you can change that in your settings. And you can do it in the middle of a meeting. And so students could put their chosen number right in front of their name, which would allow you to break them up into a choice group for a quick group assignment. If you know what group assignments you want to do prior to class. For example, I do jigsaw reading groups in my class and this is a new Skill I'm going to try this week actually, I haven't tried it yet. But you can use zoom and upload a CSV file in order to group your students and pre assign them before the zoom session starts. And so we're going to include that resource for you. You could utilize a tool for students to record their small group discussion, you could use Google Docs. So in other words, having them document the content of their conversation to share that could help and then consider a brief peer evaluation instrument for group participation. So again, Google Forms could work really well for that, in terms of having students group assess or peer evaluate one another in their small groups.
So as we think about these kinds of things, breakout rooms, group discussions, group projects, what we're really talking about in larger terms is the whole notion engagement. And along with engagement, we have to consider the idea of transitions between activities in our virtual spaces. You've probably all heard by now that lecture is not necessarily the pedagogy of choice in virtual spaces. However, that doesn't mean that you cannot deliver content. Many lectures are fabulous ways to go or you can use a tool. For example, Google Slides has a q&a feature where students can ask questions while you're presenting. And you can pop those questions up on the screen and address them. an octave or excuse me, h5 P has some options for stopping a video presentation and allowing engagement. But we've got to be cognizant of people's sitting time of their attention span and of the zoom fatigue that we are all very aware of at this point. The key is to think in terms of varying activities and transitioning between them in a way that makes sense. And there are tons of ways to do that. Even watching a video together a Netflix party, or a video that you show on your zoom screen, they can do roleplay. They can do debates there all sorts of things that we can do to promote engagement within our synchronous sessions. And certainly from a standpoint of inclusivity. providing multiple means to engage with content is extremely important. You might look at the same content in terms of a mini lecture accompanied by readings or videos or art, but making those ideas and those important things that you want students to take away available in a variety of ways. And of course, if we really want to look at engagement and inclusive practice, we've got to keep in mind that choice is key and choices perhaps easier in online environments than it might have been in face to face. Students can decide how they want to show or demonstrate their learning or their company. It sees, and certainly giving them a choice on how to show what they've learned allows them to take greater ownership of their learning.
So our ninth strategy just involves logistics. And I'm going to share four logistical thoughts with you in terms of course design when you're designing for a virtual space.
Reich College of Education Inclusive Excellence team provided the Center for Academic Excellence and the broader university community with this inclusive, excellent syllabus framework. And we've also adjusted that for inclusive online syllabus design. And so we'll provide those resources for you as well but it gives you a nice framework about what components are in your traditional syllabus and how to think about that now in a virtual space In terms of inclusivity, and those syllabus components that you might have another idea is to create a predictable flow for your course. One thing that I do is I have four components for my course. And every week, we engage in each of those four components in some way. Another way to think about that is a predictable flow that's promoted by the Agile teaching Academy. If you participated in that or are interested in that, you're encouraged to provide a flow such as prepare, engage and apply each week. So students are used to some sort of structure for how they're going to be learning and how they're going to be assessed in the course. A third idea is to record class sessions and make them available for students who can't attend. We keep coming back around to this one, but we want to make sure also that our videos have closed captioning. And I've been thinking a lot about as an instructor how I'm teaching a course, that I've taught for a very long time, but teaching it online for the first time. And so I think many of you in the role of instructor are thinking about, okay, if I develop the course this semester, I'll be able to do it again in an online environment. And so as you're thinking about those things, and putting those videos together that might, you might reuse. Think about having closed captioning because we want to make sure that all of our videos are inclusive. Just in case, you know, anybody shows up in our class who might need such closed captioning, aside from hearing impaired folks or folks
that need closed captioning.
For that reason, there are other reasons why Closed captioning is a good idea. We're talking about inclusive learning spaces and not making assumptions about where Students are and so sometimes listening, depending on where they are, isn't isn't possible. And so the closed captioning can help as well. We want to be mindful of the cumulative time that students are spending in zoom. And so even though your class might meet for four hours a week, that doesn't mean you want students sitting in front of their computer in zoom for four hours a week, and so we want to be really mindful about that cumulative time. If that's four hours a week for your one class. Imagine if all their professors were doing the same thing. Students would never be out of their seats and never be away from their screens.
And I know we all feel like we're never away from our screens at this point in time. I will say one thing that I just had to think about a couple of days ago and that involves closed captioning. If you're using YouTube for your video delivery students have the option of choosing the language of the closed Captioning. So if you have students who are more comfortable in the language other than English, that allows them to listen to the content of the course in their chosen language. So certainly Another advantage of that. Speaking of talking, the final of our 10 is using text chat in your sessions. One of the things that I've seen mentioned several times in space suck on social media is that people are not allowing text chat during their synchronous sessions. And what that seems to do is leave the participants feeling isolated if they're not participating fully in the session. So certainly, I think that as instructors, we want to encourage students to engage in text chat, to ask questions to add thoughts, etc. You learn pretty quickly teaching online that there are lots of people who are very comfortable speaking, being on video being on camera. There are also lots of people who are uncomfortable with all of those things, but we'll engage very readily in text format. So having all of those things available is important. The text chat for you as an instructor is also a great way to frame Breakout Room discussions, you can have a set of questions that you'd like groups to address, you can put those in the text chat. And when they go into their breakout rooms, they can come back and look at the questions and make sure that they are discussing the things that they're supposed to be. If you are doing mini lectures or doing something instructor driven, it's a good idea to build in breaks. So look over the chat to see if there have been any questions that need to be addressed any comments that are adding value to that conversation that might not have been said out loud? It's kind of a skill to multitask when you're teaching to be speaking and reading. So a great suggestion that I saw recently was to allow students to take turns being your chat wing person, that it's their responsibility to Keep up with the chat and let you know if there's something that needs to be addressed. alert you to important ideas or questions or things that might cause a pause in what's going on. Because they are important right at that moment. That's not something I've tried yet, but I think it would be super cool and fun. So there are all sorts of ways to use text chat to keep people engaged in your synchronous sessions along with whatever verbal conversation you might be having.
Well, we appreciate your attention today and hope that as you think about your management style, in your online space that you think also about inclusivity and being sensitive to the needs of our students in this particular time and space. And so we've included these resources for you that we've mentioned. And we just want to again, thank you for your time and attention and inviting To reach out to either one of us if you have questions, comments, or anything to add to what we've included here today, we know that in this day and age things are changing rapidly and quickly and so we welcome your thoughts and comments and additional resources that we can include with this video and wish you luck in your online teaching.