Welcome Professor! Here is a list of tips to help build your classes.
As you think about your online course, bear in mind the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” (Chickering and Gamson)
- Encourage contact between faculty and students
- Develop reciprocity and cooperation among students
- Use active learning techniques
- Give prompt feedback
- Emphasize time on task
- Communicate high expectations
- Respect diverse talents and ways of learning
You may find it helpful to read “Syllabus Planning: 10 Questions,” which discusses general principles of good syllabus development.
- Develop course objectives
- Identify the key things students will be doing (and when) and you will be doing (and when)
- Develop appropriate assignments, activities, and assessments (design template)
- Design a schedule that optimizes student time on task and student flexibility, while promoting time for discussion, collaboration, and feedback from you
- Write a description of what quality work looks like so you can set expectations and guide students
- Give instructions for everything—make explicit things you might take for granted in a face-to-face class
Course Site Design Specifics
- Use Announcements or Quickmail block rather than individual email for group communications
- Place “First time here? Visit [name of your introductory session]” label just under Announcements
- Place your Syllabus just under that
- Place key activities under that, then the week-by-week, session-by-session instructions
- Create space in the center of the page by minimizing or removing blocks on the left- or right-hand sides
- Review Teaching and Technology Resources
- Plan for a welcome video, midpoint video, closing video (Panopto or Google file embed tools can be used to share videos)
- Plan for a photo upload and personalized introductions by you and students
- Be responsive to student requests for help
The course material (books, texts, textbooks, articles, films, websites)
- Use digitized texts where possible
- Request Streaming Video (Library Guide)
- If you are planning to stream video (a documentary, a film, submit a Streaming Video Request Form at least 3 weeks prior to the date needed.
Your explanation/elaboration/interpretation of that material
If you are using video:
- Use Panopto to upload or create a video of you/ your voice over documents, presentations, websites, drawings, etc. (Videos can be created multiple ways such as with your mobile device or laptop using Panopto recorder)
- Use Zoom to for online meetings, to create video of interactions or share collaboratively created presentations, etc.
- Use DIY Studio to create high quality lecture videos or for class projects
- Work with the Digital Media Studio for any high production quality videos you wish to create
- Ask the Instructional Technology team if you need help implementing video tools
Student Engagement with material and course ideas
- Have students do something with course content every course session (discussion, quiz, website,...)
- Encourage students to react and respond to one another; create opportunities for students to collaborate, review drafts, co-present, etc.
- Encourage students to revisit and revise their own views and show how their understanding has developed over the semester (‘initial thoughts’ posts, followed by guided responses; papers that build on discussion boards or journals; papers that critique or build on classmates’ work; reflective prompts to synthesize earlier points of understanding)
- Design activities that both help students learn and help you gauge their understanding etc.
- For synchronous interaction, use Zoom (in Course Site) or Google Meet
- Provide frequent general feedback to the class on student work—with specific examples (in addition to pre-prepared material, add lecture or content that responds to student work)
- Give weekly individual feedback of some kind or another to every student
- Solicit feedback from students in week 1, 3 and 6. Report back to them on this feedback.
- Ask the Instructional Technology team if you need help to determine more efficient ways to give feedback
How to Create Effective Assessments
Effective, Efficient Grading of Student Learning
- Use quizzing features in Course Site, give written responses to submitted course site assignments or google assignments, or both written and audio recording Grade Mark in Turnitin.
- Use Assignments to easily track feedback given to students over the semester
- Assess participation and make it count substantially toward the grade
- Aim for frequent, low-stakes assessments rather than infrequent high-stakes assessments.
- If you need to proctor, use ProctorU (discuss w/ dept, as students or the departments fund this)
Need Help or Inspiration?
Contact an Instructional Technology Consultant http://lts.lehigh.edu/about/instructional-technology-consulting
For More Tips on Teaching and Learning such as how to design a course, write learning objectives, plan assignments, and develop a course schedule: Please see our Resources Page