Here is my planner for Cycle 1 of the new Literature and Social Justice course that I will be teaching this year:
What action(s) might you take in order to prepare for online and blended learning?
I have four preps this year, and three of the four preps are new courses for which all of the teaching resources, assessments, etc. still need to be developed. I will definitely have my work cut out for me. Working together with team members should help, but I will need to be very organized to ensure that I have all units up and ready to go on DX, along with the eight-day cycle posts for all four classes every eight days.
Considering your previous experience with online learning, what are your instructional strengths & areas for growth?
Reflecting on last semester’s experiences, I would say that my strengths include a willingness to take risks and try new things, maintaining rigor, finding ways to hook and hold student interest, providing students with detailed feedback on their learning, and taking the time to meet with students individually to discuss their progress and learning goals. Areas for growth include increasing opportunities for student interaction during synchronous Zoom sessions, creating engaging videos/screencasts, learning how to take full advantage of the affordances of DX, and simplifying/reducing content so as not to overwhelm learners.
Using the 5Cs of online learning, what goals might you set for yourself in anticipation of future online instruction?
First, under “Care,” I want to start the year off right by building a strong learning community at the outset; I really emphasized this aspect in my planner, above. Second, under “Clarify,” I want to work on developing effective content on DX for each of my classes, including the creation of engaging videos/screencasts to introduce myself and the course, model key skills, introduce important content, and introduce major assessment tasks. Third, under “Captivate,” I want to work on structuring Zoom sessions to include more opportunities for student interaction.
How might you achieve these goals? Who might you reach out to for support?
I have already signed up for Zoom sessions on “Making Better Screencasts” and “Screencasts vs. Zoom Sessions.” Hopefully, additional training in DX will be provided during orientation. I know that I can always reach out to Clint, Laura, and others if I have questions related to DX, Zoom, and other tools. I plan to ask students for feedback on a regular basis and to make adjustments accordingly. As mentioned previously, working together with the members of my team to create content and resources will be essential.
If you had a magic wand, what might the 5Cs of online learning look like in your classroom?
All content and resources for all four courses up on DX and ready to go; kids maintain their initial back-to-school enthusiasm throughout the year; high levels of attendance and participation in all Zoom sessions; positive feedback from students on their learning experiences in my class; and high levels of collaboration amongst the members of my team, making this experience easier on all of us and providing a greater level of consistency for our learners.