Inclusive teaching tips: Supporting students transitioning online

Inclusive teaching tips: Supporting students transitioning online

Inclusive teaching tips: Supporting students transitioning online

24
MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

While we continue to transition our students online during this period of change we can’t assume the transition will be equally smooth for all. Planning can help you support students who may have health concerns, financial difficulties and less than ideal study conditions at home. Some will have been feeling anxious about whether they belonged at university and around one-quarter will have some kind of underlying mental health condition that may be exacerbated right now.

Acknowledge anxiety and offer supports

Many students will be concerned about their health, finances and loved ones. Around 25% will have an underlying mental health condition that may be exacerbated. Acknowledge their concerns, open respectful discussions about them, provide links to information and be available by email/Skype.

Provide accessible, flexible learning resources

Provide alternative, low-bandwidth formats such as video/audio transcripts, lecture notes and low resolution images. Record BB Collaborate, Zoom and other real-time seminars. Make resources digitally accessible as far as possible, and work with students and the Disability Resource Centre to find options that work for students with access difficulties.

Help students develop digital literacy

Provide links to UniStart Deakin’s digital tools, guides for CloudDeakin, Skype, and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as well as the IT Help Desk. Demonstrate how to use e-learning technologies in (recorded) seminars and classes.

Create a nurturing learning environment

Work with students to set a class code of conduct for online discussions to foster a safe, supportive learning environment where they will feel confident to ask questions and participate in discussions/group work. Model respectful communication and moderate discussions actively to maintain their safety.

For further information on teaching inclusively online please visit ICCB’s Teaching Online recources here.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.
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Ensuring academic integrity and assessment security with redesigned online delivery

Ensuring academic integrity and assessment security with redesigned online delivery

Ensuring academic integrity and assessment security with redesigned online delivery

23

MAR, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

This guide is designed to assist unit chairs with redesigning assessment, to suit fully online delivery, without invigilated exams.

Some assessments can easily move to online delivery or submission some assessment will need to be redesigned to ensure that quality and rigour are maintained.

Contents

  1. Academic integrity, assessment security and digital assessment – outlines the latest research on how to keep digital assessment tasks secure.
  2. Three key questions to guide redesigning exams for online delivery – provides prompts to help unit chairs work through design decisions
  3. Redesigning exams: decision helper – provides a decision tree to assist unit chairs move exams to new formats
  4. Examples of converting single answer correct/MCQ questions to a unique answer format
  5. Tips for moving practical exams or assessments to online equivalents
  6. Tips for moving complex unique response exams (eg essay style) to online equivalents

The Research

The CRADLE team have conducted a range of projects on assessment security and academic integrity, including work on detecting contract cheating (including a CRADLE Suggests resource), the quality of contract cheated work, and the security of online examinations.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

Download the guide mentioned abover here.

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Practical strategies for online teaching – What teachers need now!

Practical strategies for online teaching – What teachers need now!

Practical strategies for online teaching – What teachers need now!
19
MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started
With things moving at such a frantic pace, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin as our on-campus teaching moves online next week.

We have developed the following checklist of practical strategies that you can implement immediately to prepare students for success and guide their learning over the short term as you become more comfortable teaching online.

The checklist has been aligned to Deakin’s CloudFirst Learning Design Principles, but specifically provides practical strategies for teaching online in the given COVID-19 context where temporary remote delivery of on-campus teaching is required at short notice.

For those new to teaching online we also have a range of workshops available to assist with this transition and if you have any queries please email learningfutures@deakin.edu.au.

A screen-reader accessible version of the checklist can be downloaded here (docx, 143kb)

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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Transforming Digital Learning short online course – Free upgrade

Transforming Digital Learning short online course – Free upgrade

Transforming Digital Learning short online course – Free Upgrade

19

MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

Deakin’s free short course on Transforming Digital Learning is now open for six months with a free digital upgrade on FutureLearn to support anyone who wants to acquire a range of practical strategies in transitioning to online learning. This course is particularly relevant for those ‘pivoting’ their practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging and changing the landscape of digital learning. Join us here.

What will you be learning in this course?

In response to the current changing online landscape, the big question we’ll be looking at in this course is: ‘How do we transform the future practice of digital learning?’ To answer this, we’ll explore what is meant by transformative approaches to digital learning from a range of professional contexts, including your own.

Along with the latest thinking and literature around digital learning, we will also look at the relatively new concept of ‘service design’ as part of our design practices. Service design allows practitioners to create holistic online learning experiences with the learners in mind first and foremost.

Further, because this course is targeted at a network of professionals working in and around digital learning, also learning with the experts and experienced teachers, you will be able to draw on and expand on your current knowledge and practice. Already, there is a lot of discussion in the course on how these frontline professionals are responding to the rapidly changing global crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak, echoing the importance of digital learning.

We look forward to seeing many of you transforming digital learning at the coalface in the course!

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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Transitioning Teaching Online – How to support students

Transitioning Teaching Online – How to support students

Transitioning Teaching Online – How to support students

18

MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

We’re working hard to ensure that all Deakin students have access to the resources and information they need to transition to online study.

We’ve created the transitioning to online study resource on the Deakin Life blog which includes a short series of articles about how to successfully study online. Students will also find more information about how they can access essential support services from home if required.

Here are some of the ways students can access support from home:

  • Students will have the option of calling or emailing Student Central.
  • Language and Learning advisers will be available for 30 minute online appointments.
  • Study Support will be able to answer quick and simple questions via email.
  • Writing and Maths mentors will be available through BB Collaborate drop-in sessions from Monday 23 March.
  • All PASS sessions will recommence from Monday 23 March offered online as additional CloudPASS sessions from Monday 23 March.
  • Smarthinking is Deakin’s online tutoring service that allows students to reach out for assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • If a student has an IT issue they can be directed to call IT Help as usual.

The University is ensuring all students are kept informed and feeling supported with weekly newsletters that will include messages from the Dean of students or the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education. The newsletters will include messages about health and wellbeing, as well as tips and advice from current Cloud Campus students, student mentors and Learning and Language Advisors.  

All students will also receive timely notifications via DeakinSync and messages on their unit sites.

Check the Study Support site from Monday 23 March for more information about how students will access study advice and feedback on their work.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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Transitioning Teaching Online – Teaching Tips

Transitioning Teaching Online – Teaching Tips

Transitioning Teaching Online – Teaching Tips

17

MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

At Deakin, most of our units have at least some online component, even if it’s just hosting some of your learning materials in the LMS. However, to keep our community safe and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, we need to move more of our teaching online. We understand that this can seem overwhelming if you haven’t done much (or any) online teaching before, but we are here to help.

The most important thing to remember is that the same basic principles apply to teaching online as teaching face-to-face – being clear about expectations, standards and outcomes; scaffolding learning; providing feedback on learning; supporting and building connections with your students, and helping them connect with each other. But we need to adapt how we do these things to fit the online learning environment.

Here are our top tips for moving your teaching online.

  1. Think about what you actually need

Start by thinking about what learning activities you currently provide – do you have classes, seminars, practicals? Do students need to participate in these types of synchronous activity to achieve the learning outcomes? What aspects of the learning are essential, what aspects might be offered in a different form, and what can be scaled back for now or deferred? We’ve created a set of scenarios to guide you through some of these decisions, suggest alternatives and link you to relevant technologies and resources.

  1. Keep it simple

Make things as easy as possible for yourself and your students. Although we need to change some aspects of our teaching to suit the online environment, let’s not overcomplicate matters. Think about whether there are existing resources you can use instead of creating new ones e.g. can you share a previous trimester’s class recording? If your class is scheduled on campus with lecture capture, can you deliver it in that (empty) classroom anyway so the class recording is captured and uploaded as usual? If you are recording new videos, try to keep them short – are there parts that can be presented as text? And don’t worry about making your videos look fancy – using desktop capture to show your slides and talking directly to your webcam can be just as engaging.  Check out our tips for using videos in teaching and making class recordings as engaging as possible.

  1. Set expectations

As you’ll know, it’s important to discuss expectations at the beginning of any learning experience – what does the unit look like, what are your students expecting, what do you expect of your students and what can they expect from you? This conversation is even more important in the current climate. Just as you are operating on shifting ground and likely feeling a bit overwhelmed, so are your students – they may have little or no experience of online study. Be open with them about the fact that things are changing quickly, and that this is a very different situation to normal, but that we as a university are here to support them. You can help your students navigate online learning by:

  • Helping them understand the technology you will be using, including talking about minimum operating requirements. All students will have access to UniStart, the orientation module in CloudDeakin, so you can direct them to its ‘Digital Tools’ module. You can also direct them to Deakin’s COVID-19 FAQs for students.
  • Setting clear guidelines for what they need to do each week – you may like to use the Checklist function in CloudDeakin for this
  • Being explicit about how different learning activities promote learning and about where students are receiving feedback. For example, ‘Participating in the discussion forums helps you articulate your knowledge and ideas, see different perspectives, and get feedback from me and from other students.’
  1. Start the conversation

Building connections with your students is a huge part of teaching and it’s even more important in an online environment. Online students can’t just ‘bump into’ you at the end of class if they have questions – it takes more effort for them to reach out and it can feel scarier but creating a connection early can help ensure that they do reach out when they need your help. Make sure you leave time to get to know one another at the beginning of your online seminar or in the unit site discussion forums.  

  • Introduce yourself (and bring yourself to the intro) – don’t just leave it at your role and expertise, tell students what interests you about the subject, what you’re excited about learning with them, and maybe even a little about what you do outside of work. Invite students to do the same using the ‘chat’ function or discussion forum.
  • Ask students about themselves. Start with something easy and non-controversial to get the conversation flowing – What are they looking forward to about moving to online learning? What’s the most interesting thing they’ve learnt this week (can be related to the unit or not!)
  1. Keep the conversation going

The discussion forums are more important than ever when teaching online – these are key opportunities for students to connect with you and your peers – so it’s useful to think about how you’ll keep the conversation going. Students are more likely to post in forums if they know you’re paying attention so let them know that you’ll be monitoring the posts even if you’re not responding. Be more active in the forums early on – respond to or ‘like’ posts, and prompt other students to get involved in the conversations – once students are active in the forums, it’s easier to sustain that. Check out some more tips for facilitating discussion forums here.

  1. Try it out

Make sure you practice using any new software before using it for your classes. This is also a good idea for your students – if you’re using BbCollaborate for the first time, can you schedule a trial session before the first seminar so your students can log in, familiarise themselves with the platform and identify any connection issues? For help, check out the CloudDeakin guides – and your students can get help from the IT Help page.  Keep an eye out for “How to use BbCollaborate” sessions which will be available from later this week.

  1. Allow extra time

If you are providing online seminars, be aware that activities take longer online than in person. You’ll need to allow extra time for students to type and share their responses. If you’re using breakout groups in BbCollaborate for group discussions, let students know how long they’ll have in the breakout group and give them a reminder when the time is nearly up.

  1. Check in regularly

It can be tricky sometimes to gauge students’ understanding of the content when you are not in the same room with them so make sure you take plenty of opportunities to clarify their understanding. Post questions in discussion forums, or use quizzes or online polling tools, to check and clarify students’ progress. This is particularly important in the lead-up to assessments.

  1. Take your office hours online

If you have regularly scheduled office hours in which students can come and see you, think about how you’ll offer these online. You might like to schedule drop-in sessions via BbCollaborate or use the chat function in MS Teams. You might let students know that you’ll use that time to respond to their email queries – or suggest that they book a phone consult with you instead.

If you need more assistance please email learningfutures@deakin.edu.au and we will do our best to help!

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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