Like most of the world, we transitioned from teaching face-to-face at our university to teaching 100% remotely.
I’m Martha Warner, and I am an adjunct instructor of communications and English and joining me on this journey is Aaron Stanley, my fabulous teaching assistant and a communications major.
We had to weigh our options when COVID-19 hit the world. Our university started with plans to stay off campus after spring break but quickly realized the dangers of the pandemic meant closing the college for the rest of the school year and the summer.
What were we to do?
We had to decide if we wanted to teach synchronously (in real time) or asynchronously (pre-recorded). We knew we wanted to create as much of a sense of normalcy for our students during this scary time, so we decided to meet in real time during the same block of time that our students would have met with us on campus.
Our platforms include Canvas, which is a tool we used heavily in class, but we also had to add in an online meeting platform. We use Zoom because we have access to it, but Skype, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams would work in the same fashion. The combination of Zoom (to replace our face-to-face environment) with Canvas (to maintain familiar organization) increased engagement, student retention, and pass rates (89%).
No matter how you choose to teach remotely, maintaining a sense of normalcy is key for student success!
Find out more in our series TA and Instructor Perspectives: Successfully Sharing Spaces.
Martha Warner is a writer and an Adjunct Professor of communications and English.