We JUST found out that classes are going to switch to online for the rest of the semester starting next week. I teach one lecture class (two sections, chalk and talk with lots of diagrams and equations) and a discussion class. I have in-class exams coming up. What do I DOOOOOOOOO?!??!
Any help would be appreciated.
I feel you. For my midterm on Monday, if school is cancelled (we’re still waiting to hear(!)), I’m planning on having them all sign into Skype or Zoom and I will virtually proctor them via video. I can do this because they’re all required to have laptops. I also know they all have smartphones so they will be able to scan in their exams and mail them to me as pdfs. I am not looking forward to this outcome because I know there will be technical difficulties. But I’m assuming it will be better than creating a take-home that’s more challenging and harder to grade… and I had cheating problems last semester so I can’t just trust them to do a timed take-home on their own without the monitoring. (They do get a cheat sheet so this kind of cheating won’t be a problem.) I’m trying to figure out what to do for people without printers– they could take the exam blue-book style, which is probably going to be the best option, otherwise they will have to pick up envelopes with exams from on campus. I should scan in the probability distribution tables.
I think I’m just going to gut my discussion class. We’re only going to do the major required points and cut out the “fun” day. I’ll have the students record their voice over powerpoints (I need to figure out how to do this) and upload them … and then require each student to ask at least one question and answer the main points questions as homework. For one of the weekly assignments they’ll comment on people’s discussions on blackboard instead of in person. And I’ll have them answer all questions from the reading as homework somehow instead of as in-class discussion… not sure how to get them to read other people’s though. May have to have a second homework as well. SIGH. Or I could just let it go.
For my chalk and talk lecture I’m torn between videotaping all my remaining lectures and letting them watch asynchronously vs. doing a virtual lecture with my apple pencil and some computer program on my iPad during our regular class time (I’ve been testing out zoom with the whiteboard, though everything has to get erased after each page). I could cold call and have them chat for that. It might not be so bad if I can figure out a good program for it. I wish I could remember which meeting program that I used like 3 years ago to talk to a statistician was the one that made it easy to write via hand and have people comment.
Our business school recommended zoom for all their professors/students, which our university provides for free to us. We’ve gotten no guidance yet, but it looks like if you don’t get the professional version from your school it cuts off at 40 min with the free version.
I have been scouring the interwebs for suggestions.
Here’s the chronicle of higher ed on how to go online in a hurry. Here’s a thread from someone in China. Almost all, possibly all, my students this semester are local so I’m hoping there won’t be internet problems.
Here’s a couple of different things on how to teach using the ipad Pro and Apple Pencil (note, if you do not have an Apple Pencil, you will need to get one that isn’t personalized since it took a while to get a personalized one from China even before the Corona Virus). 1. Scott Dawson. 2. teachbetter.co . Explain Everything looks promising for this set-up, though it is not free. Google hangouts (free) and Google Classrooms (your uni needs to have a license) is being pushed by a friend’s university. I’ll probably end up with Zoom since many of my students are already familiar with it since our university has a site license for it. I really hope I don’t lose my apple pencil again.
But really I’m hoping that Grumpy Nation will have suggestions about what to do. Because, like you, this is a brave new world for me.
Grumpy Nation– have any of you done online classes or hybrid classes? Any suggestions either for lecture or discussion?