Teaching Evolution and COVID

These are selected resources and ideas for teaching that generated from when we moved to remote teaching in Spring 2020 and then taught by mixed modalities (i.e. in person and remotely at the same time) during Fall 2020 as a response to COVID-19.

Spring 2020

  • There are many alternatives to testing students to assess their learning. Consider open book tests, papers, presentations, etc, to determine what students have learned, instead of high stakes testing. It is ok to change your assessment approach right now, and it might be helpful to ask your students for input on deciding (and the CTL and eLearning are happy to talk through options too).
  • If you want to give a test outside of the LMS (like sending students a test by email) then here are a few resources/ideas:
  • If you decide to test through Canvas, here are some resources:
    • Learn about Respondus Respondus will  magically upload a Word Doc of multiple choice questions into Blackboard/Canvas and format it correctly, and do a bunch of other neat test-taking things. Contact e-learning for more information.
    • There is training information about Respondus available in Canvas that covers Respondus LockDown Browser, Respondus Monitor, and Respondus 4.0. You can find it on your dashboard.

An archive of goodbyes and good wishes is here.

  • In video or in writing, you may want to offer:
    • encouragement for students to see their academic path forward, no matter how this semester went
    • reflection on how hard this semester has been, and how strong the students are because of it
    • an expression of continued support, relationship, gratitude and caring
    • specific examples of what the faculty has learned from the class
    • a memorable warm wish, or thing to keep in mind moving forward, or question to drive thinking forward
  • Congratulate graduating students on Canvas.
  • Ask students to reflect on this semester and what they learned about how they learn.
  • Write your own reflection on this semester and share a relevant line or two with your students.
  • Plan end-of-semester wrap-up zoom calls with small groups of students, or the whole class if schedules permit it.
  • Share your highlights and favorite things from the semester with your students.
  • Create opportunities for asynchronous celebrations because students might not be up for more zoom calls:
    • Toasts for each students on a discussion board (in a speech class)
    • Gather reflection items, favorite moments from class, etc and assemble into a short video to give to students.
  • Move your peer reviews, presentations, projects to an online format, either synchronous or asynchronous, and share with your division if possible.
  • Post draft final grades early and encourage students to engage in conversation with you about them, and how to improve them.

Fall 2020

  • identify the "panic points" and acknowledge them.
  • regularly ask students how they are doing. Here is Suzanne Rousseau's approach:

"One of the things I’m doing with my own students is to send out a google form link most class days, 15 minutes before class starts, with usually just 1-2 questions for them to answer. I initially started it to give us something to talk about in the minutes before class starts, when there’s this awkward silence and we’re staring at each other on Zoom. I set up the form ahead of time (usually in the morning of the days I have class) and then I insert the link into an email and save it to be sent later, so that it auto-sends at 10:15 (my class starts at 10:30).

Sometimes I ask them a silly question, such as “Would you rather be a wizard or a superhero, and why?” and sometimes it’s something serious, such as “How are you doing today?”, “How are you managing your stress this semester?”, or “If I asked you to draw how you feel today, what would you draw? Why?”. Based on the feedback I’ve gotten back from them over the last 8 weeks, most of them really enjoy my questions. Many of them have said that they really appreciate that I care enough to ask them how they’re doing, and then reach out to them individually when they indicate that they’re really having a tough time." - Suzanne

  • provide credit for a student willing to TA your class and help students that connect by zoom. This may also dovetail or connect to the Leadership Credential .
  • consider ways to lower your cognitive overload in class design and your many other tasks and roles.
  • transcribe your recordings using a free app like speechnote.

  • In addition to Films on Demand from the LC Library, you can use your ValNet library card to stream Kanopy, which "showcases more than 30,000 of the world’s best films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, indie and classic films, and world cinema with collections from A24, Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Samuel Goldwyn, The Orchard, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers."

Contact Information

Center for Teaching and Learning

Library

500 8th Avenue

Lewiston, Idaho 83501