By Sally Cunningham and Alisha Winter
Incorporating online learning into the traditional classroom brought forth numerous challenges and opportunities. Through our work as students-as-partners, we were able to help navigate these uncertainties and discover paths through the untread territory. Each week we share examples of common perceived challenges and how we collaborated with instructors as OLTCs to design for delight.
Navigating the Synchronous Classroom
Once the OLTC program was officially announced to professors on Bishop’s University campus last summer, we did not have a shortage of curious professors who wanted to meet and discuss the consultancy program.
One professor, teaching a first-year Sociology course, had initially planned to directly emulate a traditional face-to-face lecture online in the asynchronous format, by posting pre-recorded lectures to Moodle and replicating all the assignments she’d used in the course pre-pandemic. During our Initial Needs Assessment with this professor, we quickly realized that the professor wanted to replicate her prior courses because she had not been given the opportunity prior to the OLTC program to learn about the different methods of delivery and assessment that were available to her through the university and online.
We quickly set her Moodle up to include discussion boards, quizzes, and low-risk formative assignments which built toward the final summative assessment. Instead of preparing her lectures as she would a traditional hour and a half to three-hour long lecture, she split her topics up to create micro-lectures and with the help of our student working group (SWG), she used a program called Ensemble Anthem to record her screen for the content delivery. The micro-lectures were an opportunity to isolate key information for her students, while other content was delivered through the various asynchronous activities the students completed.