4/15/20: Do you have students asking for extensions? The grade submission deadline for faculty remains May 3, as previously scheduled. The Registrar’s Office asks that you please do not give your students extensions that would prevent you from meeting this deadline. If you have not yet set deadlines for Week 15, please take the amount of time you need to grade into account.
4/13/20: Thinking about finals? Your culminating exercise for the semester–whether it’s an exam, project, or presentation–may need to altered for remote instruction. Even if it doesn’t, you may wish to consider challenges that might make it difficult for students to achieve your (or their) original vision. See our new article on Re-envisioning Final Exams and Assessments.
4/8/20: Set availability expectations! We encourage faculty to clearly set expectations about the hours they will respond to emails and when they will be available for “office hours.” For example, if students know their professor will respond to questions in the discussion board daily at 8:00 pm ET or within a 24-hour window that can help set clear expectations for both parties. It can be equally important to know when the professor is not available (eg. Sundays). From Tips & Tricks for Work/Life Balance and Remote Instruction
4/7/20: Thank you for doing such wonderful work with your students! Students are reporting really positive experiences with faculty who are being flexible about assignments and caring in their approach (and we cannot thank you enough!). Some students also passed on two quick pieces of feedback to deans that we want to give you:
- Students appreciate when grades are distributed, especially when they’re posted in the Canvas gradebook. (Note that some students are deciding whether to request Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory/Fail (S/U/F) grading, and it is helpful to know their class standing as they make that choice.)
- In some classes, faculty are being really flexible about late work and due dates, but syllabi still show the stricter original policies. Adjusting your syllabus in line with the flexibility you’re actually providing can decrease anxiety.
4/6/20: In spite of all your communication, are some students missing announcements and work expectations?
Setting up zero-point assignments with due dates in the Canvas gradebook is a helpful way to keep students on track. In Canvas, assignments automatically appear in the students’ calendars. So, when it comes to draft submissions, scaffolded project checkpoints, or even discussion preparation, faculty can be sure students will be notified. At zero points, these tasks will not affect students’ overall grade, but they are indispensable for students’ overall learning experience. Please contact us if you would like assistance doing this.
4/3/20: Clarity of communication can be challenging for both students and faculty. We are all receiving larger-than-usual amounts of email at the moment. Ask yourself: what channels are you using to communicate with students? And what channels are they using to communicate with you? We recommend choosing one method and using all the channels you’ve been using to talk with students to notify them of how they should expect to hear from you going forward. Canvas announcements are ideal because students receive notification by email and messages are also archived in the same place. More information and instructions here.
4/2/20: You might have heard rumors from other institutions about “Zoom-bombing”, where outsiders invade live sessions with porn or racial slurs. ChampSupport has issued advice on how to avoid this problem in Zoom and Google Meet, and what to do if it happens to you.
4/1/20: Have you updated your syllabus to reflect any changes you’ve made to the course, or distributed an official syllabus addendum that summarizes the updated schedule, mode of instruction, assignments, and deadlines? If not, we strongly encourage you to do so!