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If you’re still figuring out how you want to address the upcoming election in your classes, our new “Teaching After an Election” resource might be of help.

Teaching After the Election

Teaching through and after an election can be pedagogically challenging in any year, and especially so in a year that has shifted many instructors’ assumptions about what teaching and learning looks like. If you’re still figuring out how you want to respond to the election in your classes, we hope our new, brief resource on Teaching After an Election can help you identify possible approaches and weigh your options.

Teaching Roundtables

We’re happy to announce the full Teaching Roundtable schedule for fall semester. These informal, virtual conversations are meant to provide instructors a space to think together about the pressing pedagogical questions of the current moment. Roundtables will typically begin with brief reflections from a couple of invited faculty members, followed by an open discussion amongst the group. Unless otherwise noted, topics are meant to encompass in-person, blended, and remote course contexts.

This semester’s topics are Exploring Anti-Racist Pedagogies with Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones (Theology) & Julia DeVoy (LSEHD), Making Assessments Meaningful with Nadia Abuelezam (CSON) & Sean MacEvoy (Psychology), and Learning Together in Community with Karen Arnold (LSEHD) & Min Song (English). Find full schedule details, session descriptions, and registration information on the CTE website.

Planning for Post-Thanksgiving Classes

With students being directed to stay home if they choose to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, faculty currently teaching in-person will likely need to plan for a greater percentage of remote students in the final weeks of the semester. A few options for managing that shift:

  • Shift to fully remote: Switch your course to a fully remote format, holding class meetings on Zoom and covering the same content you planned to cover in the classroom. (If your course is lecture-heavy, you might consider recording one or two lectures using Zoom or Panopto for students to watch in advance.) Our "Transitioning to Remote Instruction" Checklist can help you think through what a shift to remote involves.

  • Continue in-person with more robust remote options: Continue teaching in the classroom, with remote students engaging synchronously or asynchronously using Panopto or Zoom. Our Remote Engagement Options For In-Person Classes can walk you through the various options you have for bridging in-person and remote student learning.

  • Pair asynchronous assignments with optional synchronous meetings: Ask students to finish working through any remaining content (i.e. lectures, reading assignments) asynchronously. And then offer study sessions or office hours on Zoom during the times when you would usually offer class.

Checking in with Your Students

Even those instructors who are already teaching fully remote classes can benefit from surveying their students about their post-Thanksgiving plans. Knowing if students’ returning home will mean their access to reliable wifi will be changing -- or if they’ll have a harder time finding a private place to log on -- can help you plan around those challenges. Time zone changes may also be a factor.

This sample Remote Learning Survey could be a helpful starting place for designing your own check-in survey. (You can copy the survey to edit it for use in your own course.)

Adjusting Expectations for Participation

If you’re going to be leaning more on Zoom for your final classes of the semester, you might want to clarify your expectations for remote participation. The Fall 2020 Syllabus Statements page on the CTE Resources website now includes a section on “Zoom Expectations” that you can adapt for your own course.

Planning Final Assessments

If you’re still thinking through how you want to structure final exams or other assessments in your course, the CTE is offering a few workshops in the coming weeks focused on alternative assessment strategies, the Canvas quiz tool, and remote proctoring:

In addition, our resources on Assessing Learning Remotely and Options for Remote Proctoring provide an overview of different approaches and some specifics about technologies.

Upcoming Workshops & Drop-Ins

In addition to the assessment workshops above, we’re also offering two virtual drop-in sessions in the coming week, where CTE staff will be available to help you troubleshoot your technology and teaching questions:

Additional workshops are being planned for later in November. See our next newsletter for details about sessions on using Zoom in remote and blended courses, recording lectures in Panopto, and managing assignments and grading in Canvas.

Preparing for Spring

While we recognize that most of you still have your hands plenty full managing the current semester, we also know that some instructors -- particularly those who aren’t currently teaching -- have already started thinking ahead to their spring course plans. The CTE will be offering a variety of sessions focused on spring course preparation starting in November and then again in January. We’ll have more information to share in our November newsletter.

In the meantime, if you’d like to get started, you can enroll yourself in either our Blended Instruction or Remote Instruction Canvas courses, where you’ll be guided through a structured course design process. Our “quick start” Blended Instruction Checklist and Remote Instruction Checklist can also provide a helpful overview of the main things to keep in mind for each approach.
Center for Teaching Excellence
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Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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