Not Business as Usual

One of the most challenging aspects of good assignment design is making sure you’re evaluating what you intend to be evaluating. When times are as stressful as these, when students’ lives are as unsettled as they are, we need to pay special attention to making sure we don’t take a “business as usual” approach to teaching and learning right now.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Simplify. Can you streamline and reduce content for the rest of term while still meeting your learning objectives?
  • Build in contingency. Students may be sick or caring for other who are. This is not a time for stringent late penalties or strict deadlines. Consider reducing stress for students by talking to them in advance about how your policies are shifting in light of current circumstances.
  • Reduce stress. This isn’t a great time for timed quizzes or short turnaround times on assignments. Build in some breathing room for your students, and for yourself, too.

And Rebecca Barrett-Fox has a great piece reminding us not to make assumptions about students, about online learning, or about what this will all mean for all of us once the crisis passes.