Opening Reflections, Cathy Turner, CTL
We’ve all learned things through the challenges and opportunities of this semester:
- Red passes/absences
- Students excitement about being back
- Continuing to manage the stress and difficulties from the last year+
James Aguirre, Physics and Astronomy
- What worked well during remote teaching?
- Zoom for quick meetings
- Scheduling things with Calendly - makes it easier for students to schedule time with him
- Canvas Quizzes for low stakes assessment
- Students can take slightly different versions of the assessments
- Flexibility in scheduling, some students do better when they have slightly more time, when time isn’t a part of what is really being assessed
- For high stakes exams, did a mix of randomized questions and one or two relatively difficult questions
- Canvas generally
- Grading online
- Was more organized because of Canvas
- Course Recordings
- Sobering to look back at course recordings and how we presented content; was a learning opportunity
- What was not so great?
- Quizzes are time consuming to set up
- What does flexibility and fairness look like now and going forward?
- Course absence reports
- Policies around dropped assignments and missed classes
- On going question: Are recordings an adequate substitute for missing class?
Melissa Wilde, Sociology
- Large class, typically 150 students
- Because of issues around finding TAs, it’s capped at 50 students for this semester
- Previously required participation and attendance; this semester, attendance is not required
- Students were concerned about being back in person
- Recorded 2-5 minutes snippets of course content on Canvas
- Concerns: Are they redundant? Do they discourage attendance?
- Course has now become a lot more active: small group and breakout discussions, which seem to encourage students to come to class; attendance has been high this semester
- Has found it difficult to follow the university’s guidance about students attending virtually: student in motorcycle accident wanted to attend class remotely but felt had to say no given the policy
- Others noted that students are opting to join remotely when given the option; some students are advocating that recordings and notes work better for their learning than attending class
- Felt that faculty should be empowered to make the choices about virtual attendance that work best for their teaching rather than an inflexible policy
- Excited to go back to in-person exams because those are an important learning opportunity
- Being flexible is a great way to support students; but still having high expectations and to encourage students to be in class
- In the pass/fail environment, some students miscalculated what they needed to do to pass, and it was a challenge at the end of the course about how to be fair: ended up giving students an opportunity to pass with clear and high expectations and that felt both flexible and fair