What an anxious moment we are all surviving together.
Stress levels for everyone are extremely high right now, and the uncertainty around us doesn’t help. But there are strategies for reinforcing the care and community you have already established in your face-to-face classes, even as we move online.
- Remind students of your presence. Often. Whether through short video blogs, regular and predictable email responses, or remaining present in discussion forums, students will be reassured by your continue participation in their classwork.
- Be flexible, humane, and kind. Students will be dealing with a lot of additional external stressors during this time. Consider relaxing your approach to deadlines and late penalties in the coming days. Remember that the authorities ask that we not tax the health care system, so it may not be appropriate to require a doctor’s note for missed work due to illness.
- Seek support. Our Moodle resource has a faculty support forum, and the Learning Technology and Innovation team is here to provide support for all your questions about teaching online. The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and the Instructional Designers in Open Learning are all community resources for you to draw on. Let us help.
Some additional ways to demonstrate care (all resources can be reused and shared, with attribution):
- Aimi Hamraie’s Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19 explores how to best serve all students in this moment.
- Danya Glabau has produced a thorough questionnaire to evaluate student capacity for online learning within a specific class.
- Caleb McDaniel and Jenifer Brattner offer tips and ideas to help students who have never learned online before make the most of the rest of this semester.
- Torrey Trust’s Teaching Remotely in Times of Need is incredibly thoughtful (and we’re especially fans of Slide #24).