Remote Teaching Tips to Finish 2020 on a High Note

Shannon Stout
December 8, 2020

This post is part of Eduscape’s Remote Teaching Series.

Throughout Fall, the Eduscape team has brought together tips on how we can support our students across pillars of remote teaching: Community, Communication & Collaboration, Assessment and Accessibility.

For more remote teaching help, join our webinar “Remote Learning – A Leadership Model for Effective Instruction and Teacher Support.”

The Latest Crowd-Sourced Tips

1. Community
Actively integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into instruction. It’s easier to get a pulse on student emotional wellbeing in person, but it can be difficult to pursue this online.

Consider adding an SEL question to any form or activity students complete, this way you are regularly checking in with your students to stay updated on their wellbeing. For example, ask: “How are you feeling about…”

A question that asks students to reflect on how they are feeling prompts them to identify their emotions and build self-awareness.

2. Communication & Collaboration
Create consistency in directions, virtual classroom structure and handouts. Educators, students and parents may be experiencing cognitive overload as they sort through emails, text messages, LMS posts, news headlines and more. Consider how you can support streamlining communication and increase comprehension by using the same or similar language when communicating on certain topics.

For example, if you have an announcement, can you create the same title or structure for how you write announcements each time? Below are some examples of how you could name classwork or homework assignments:

  • CW: Title – Due Date (CW: Factoring – 12/3/20)
  • HW: Title – Due Date (HW: Current Events – 12/5/20)

3. Assessment

With the likelihood of upcoming assessments to gauge how students are progressing through learning this Fall, a big question educators are asking is “How can we cultivate and manage academic integrity during examinations?” We may have some level of influence over three key assessment components – design, implementation and the learning culture. Let’s review how we can support these components to support reliability and authenticity of assessments to better understand learners’ needs:

Design – The Bloom’s Taxonomy framework categorizes learning objectives, delineated by complexity. Review your current exam questions, and consider how questions that assess “lower order thinking” could be altered to ask students to draw upon foundational knowledge but apply, evaluate, synthesize and create to demonstrate more authentically what students know and can do in the moment. Answers to higher order thinking questions aren’t as easily found with a quick internet search or text message.

Implementation – Digital tools such as Google Forms and Microsoft Forms have embedded settings and design features to aid collecting reliable and authentic assessment data. Features such as open and close dates, accepting responses and shuffle questions, allow you moderate the testing environment.

Learning Culture – We cultivate the tone in our learning environments. Consider, what is the culture of learning in your classroom? How can you support students in understanding why assessments are important to tailoring instruction and supporting them in progressing to their goals? One way to communicate expectations and culture are by creating testing norms, explicitly reviewing them with students and publishing them. The clearer our expectations and supports for meeting those expectations, the more prepared our students will be to meet and exceed them.

4. Accessibility
Interactive slides are great for creating engaging and individualized learning experiences but can be challenging for students to navigate independently. Help simplify the user experience by publishing your presentation slides to the web to minimize buttons on the screen and prevent accidental edits.

Thank you for your commitment to education and we look forward to sharing more tips for remote teaching—brought to you by educators who are working to rethink learning!

Have tips for remote teaching? Share what you’ve learned with us! Click here to submit your Remote Teaching Tips.

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