An Example of a Shorter At Home Lesson

To continue my helps for teachers while dealing with this situation (COVID-19 and having to race to turn F2F classes into online courses) I am sharing some examples of¬†an example of a simple at-home lesson and a quick assignment. Later, I’ll share a more robust version. I suggest having a few of these types of shorter lessons so that you can have some time to spend on creating longer lessons, fielding phone class, emails, virtual meetings, juggling family, (as we will all be quarantined together in a small space – more thoughts on that later!) etc.

This is a simple one (if my children or I are sick, or if I just don’t have a lot of time to prep because of said illness/emergency, etc). On those I try to emphasize a lot of choice – which gives the student the freedom to work on what they would like and to go at their own pace on the days and times that work for them.

Linking in a lesson or assignment

Sometimes it is too much with all of the material to have it on one page. So I create multiple pages and link them into the page I want to use it for. Linking is my best friend on canvas ūüėČ

The Scripture Study link below (it is underlined and green, see the first bullet point) would take them to another page on canvas (our LMS system) that has a complete set of Scripture Study Skills (this was a page that they had to use for one of the major projects). I left them below as dead links so that you can see them. The red links below are live (just in case you want to do some family history). ūüėČ

After the at home lesson, I have an example of the simple assignment that I give in connection with the lesson. If you create a few of these simpler ones, than you can spend some time working on learning the new tools for screen-casts, etc. (there is a learning curve for each one.)

Hope this helps (and I would love to see anything that you create as well). You can do this and I will keep adding ideas to help you. Feel free to send these posts along or to follow this blog if it is of use. I would also LOVE to hear your thoughts, comments, ideas, or suggestions.

Thanks!
Other Posts in this series –

Shorter At Home Lesson and Assignment follows:


Day 15: At Home Assignment Instructions

In place of class today, we will be doing an at home assignment. I have given everyone full points for the daily quiz, so no need to worry about that.

For this assignment, you have your choice of the following:

  • Do the reading for today –¬†2 Corinthians 6-13¬†and practice using at least 2 of the¬†Scripture Study Skills¬†¬†in your study (this should take ¬†at least 3 hours)

OR

Please enjoy and take advantage of this opportunity to get your fingers on the pulse of family history work right now!

Report your findings here –¬†Day 15 At Home Assignment¬†(it is due on Saturday by 10:30 pm, but you can turn it in whenever you wish)


Day 15 At Home Assignment Report

Make sure that you have completed the prep work –¬†Day 15: At Home Assignment Instructions

  • Please tell me a little ( 250-300 words, approx 1 page) about what you have done and what you have learned while studying 2 Corinthians 2-13.
  • Make sure to include the following to get full credit:
    • Tell me which two scripture study skills you used.
    • Share some of the verses that were the most important to you.
    • Share your insights from these verses.
    • How will you apply your learning into your life?
    • Any other thoughts and insights about the learning (using the scripture study skills)?

OR if you did the family history option –

  • An accounting of your time
    • Log your dates and hours for both NT study and the conference (should total at least 3 hours)
    • The classes that you watched
  • Share your insights from each class and from your study
    • What did you learn that you think will be of value in the future?
  • Give your overall thoughts about this experience

Thank you, I hope that this will be a very beneficial experience for you!

Okay, Virtual Reboot, Now What? 

keep-calm

Hello – amazing teachers who are having to change your Face-to-Face (F2F) classes into virtual classes overnight! (See this previous post for more – Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days).

Here is another example of what I am doing with my classes. Feel free to use it as a spring board for:
  • ideas,
  • to change around to fit what you are doing,
  • to save time thinking of how to “word” things,
  • and/or to use as a template for your courses.
So you’ve contacted your students, now what?
May I suggest some of the following:
  • Make a general plan for the next few weeks (however long the semester or quarantine lasts).
  • Remember that EVERYONE is using technology during this pandemic (from the business sector to schools all over the country – not to mention everyone at home who is trying to keep busy and our default mode is to live online) so have a few different ideas up your sleeve in case the tech crashes.
  • Consider the value of asynchronous classes (in which you give the students the freedom to do the course work whenever they can throughout the week before the weekly due date).
Because we are all busy needing to learn new technologies (and each one will have its own unique learning curve) I am hoping that this will be something that can help save you time. Please pass this post on to the teachers you know that could benefit.
I put this (see below) where the students are used to finding the information.  In my classes I already have them working in the modules of Canvas (our course Learning Management System, LMS) for their classes, so the following is in our Week 10, Day 19. I suggest using what you have already trained the students to do Рbe it modules, announcements, emails, etc. This example is for a family history class and we were already on a semi-hybrid model.
Now, I can easily copy and paste it to my other courses and edit in the correct details for that class, letting them know what will remain the same and what will change as we move forward.
If you don’t have anything set up, consider the following:
  • What has your school been using?
  • What has your school already paid for? (At BYU-I we have specific licenses for certain tech, see if your school already has something in place)
  • Look into free options such as google hangouts or blogs (I’ll send ideas in another post)
  • Perhaps a weekly email with at-home lessons created within the message?
As ever, I know that you can do this and I will keep adding ideas to help you. Feel free to send these posts along or to follow this blog if it is of use. I would also LOVE to hear your thoughts, comments, ideas, or suggestions.
Thank you!

 

Example of my first day information:

Day 19: What Are We Going To Do Now?

Temple Banner

Hello, Everyone!

Welcome back to our virtual rebooted class.

It will work very closely to what we were doing before –

  • We’ll typically meet together once a week and the other day we will have an at-home type lesson with an assignment attached.
  • All of the assignments that were previously part of the class will continue to be due on their scheduled dates – follow the¬†modules.
  • If you are behind and interested, you can check out extra credit assignments here:¬†Resources

Here are some changes –¬†

  • I’ll be putting you into groups so that you can still have connection together during this time (more on that later).
  • You will need to be able to meet with us virtually – you can use your phone, a laptop, etc, in order to do that.
  • There will be a few added assignments to accommodate this new learning style. I will try to be flexible and understanding of your time, but I also need you to understand that these assignments will be necessary to make sure that you have an engaging learning experience .
  • Daily reading quizzes will be changed to reflect what we have done for that day’s work (I gave everyone full credit for the daily reading quiz for Monday’s (3/16) class. Please don’t take it again – unless you want late points or you don’t like to have full credit). ūüėČ

For Wednesday’s (3/18) Class ¬†–¬†

  1. Please complete Monday’s Readings and Questions (so that you can discuss with a breakout group):¬†Day 18: Finding Connection Through Family History¬†(What an amazing coincidence – the whole day was going to be about connections – and right at the time when we seem to be forced into a global isolation. I truly believe that the Lord wants us to be connected into our Father’s Eternal Family and into our own families. What a great opportunity to do this!)
  2. On Wednesday at our regular class time, please join me in our
  3. You are welcome to set the software up ahead of time (see #4 below to learn how), I have sent up a virtual waiting room so that you can do that. ūüôā
  4. If you need to learn how to join this virtual classroom (hosted by Zoom), watch this video  (Links to an external site.)
  5. Should (Zoom)  the virtual classroom fail, (and with the current situation, and all of the colleges relying on this tech, it may) check the announcements and I will have a back-up ready.
  6. You guys are amazing Р keep moving forward!

Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days

woman holding microphone standing in front of crowd

Photo by ICSA on Pexels.com

So, you’re in the same boat as we are? Because of the novel COVID-19 virus (a.k.a Coronavirus) we have been asked to change our classes from Face-to-Face (traditional model) to online in just a few days to finish out the Winter 2020 semester. I’m hoping that this post will give my fellow teachers some helpful tips with the transition. The posts will be written for college professors, but the ideas can be adapted to any teacher in any teaching situation (Elementary, Jr. High, High Schools, or even in the private sector).

First, some counsel for those who may be silently panicking – you are a teacher, which means that you are capable and creative. You’ve got this! Sure, there may be new technologies to learn (and there will be a unique earning curve for each one) but remember that you are in a profession that allows you to be amazingly creative – and the more creative you are, the more ability you have to enrich the lives of your students.

So, the venue has changed slightly – your knowledge and abilities have not. Take all that you have been doing, put it into a new format, and take advantage of this amazing opportunity for growth for you, as well as for your students.

Second, I am not trying to replace anything that your school, supervisors, teaching & learning teams, etc. are sending out. There is so much material on the web to help teachers – (what a great blessing!) I simply understand that sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start and some tips and encouragement go a LONG way.¬† Use the information in these posts as a springboard for:

  • ideas and strategies,
  • to change things around to fit what you are doing,
  • to save time thinking of how to “word” things,
  • and/or to use as a template for your courses.

Third – Communication! My first suggestion is to make sure to keep the channels of communication open to your students. They were used to coming to see you during office hours, or before or after class. Now, online, you need to make sure that they hear from you often. If you already have a channel that you have been using all semester (emails, announcements, blog posts, etc.) continue to use that. If nothing is currently in place, consider some of the following –

  • What are the students used to receiving from the school (What tools are already in place? Do they receive emails, blog posts, etc?),
  • Mobilize whichever medium you are good at using (this is one area that you don’t need to stress about learning a new tool – simply use what you have),
  • Be consistent in that medium for as long as either the course or the pandemic lasts.

Fourth – an example. Here is an example of an announcement that I sent up in canvas (our school’s LMS) on Friday (3/13/20). Our University cancelled all Face-to-Face (F2F) classes on Thursday late afternoon (3/12/20) and after a mandatory department meeting (in which they briefed us on what we would be doing) I sent out this announcement.

I suggest making sure to give your students the following:

  • Reassurance,
  • Information about what is going on with the school and with your class,
  • Keep the info simple – you don’t need to brief them on everything, just enough to move to the next step.
  • You don’t need to have a full plan for the next few weeks, just an outline of what to do when they return to your (now) virtual class.
  • Remember –
    • In this first letter, you don’t need to teach them how to use the tech or every plan that you have in mind, just where to go to find you and the class.
    • What leeway you will give for assignments, due dates, etc. that are effected during the transition.
    • Which overall major items will be different and which will be the same in the curriculum.

This is my first offering – introduction & encouragement as well as help in sending out your first item of communication. If this piece was helpful to you, I am so glad – there are no strings or requests other than to help those in our profession during this difficult transition – please pass it on to other teachers.

Best wishes for your success!

Laryssa Waldron

 

A little about me РI am a Visiting Professor at BYU-Idaho in the Religion Department and previous to that taught English Courses in both Writing and Rhetoric, and Technical Writing at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) where we did a lot of work online and with synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid classes Рmainly working on the canvas platform. I am so thankful to my  forward thinking colleagues and departments at both schools (and many others before) who have richly blessed me by freely sharing their knowledge, expertise, and help. It is thrilling to be in a group so willing to freely share their ideas. At every institution I have taught in, I have found this generous attitude. Thank you!