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5 Key Strategies for Moving Your Class Online

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 5 Key Strategies for Moving Your Class Online   

Adapted from Sage author Stacy Mallicoat’s popular webinar, “Transitioning to Online Teaching”, these key strategies help you transition your course to an online environment. 

Welcome to the new, awkward normal of online teaching. There are so many conversations about what online education looks like normally versus on the fly and all of the things we should be thinking about given the time that we’re in. 

In reality, we’re all just trying to figure out how to deal with this, how to care for our students, and really how to care for each other in this journey. 

In the spirit of that mentality, here are some key strategies that may help when it comes to online education right now:

1. Navigation: Keep your course navigation simple

  • Don’t assume students know what to do. Instead, ask yourself:

  • Are my assignments easy to location?

  • Are my materials accessible?

  • Have I provided clear instructions? Is it clear how students will turn in their work?

2. Repeat: Repeat pertinent information in multiple ways and places

  • If your LMS has the ability to remind students of due dates, add that setting

  • Have a weekly email to your students that reminds them of what they need to do this week. Just cut and paste from your syllabus!

3. Design: Adapt best practices in course design when possible

  • This may not always be possible! We are all just doing what we can, but here some ideas to consider:

  • Keep recorded lectures to 10-20 minutes; remember students don’t have the same attention span when watching a video lecture than when they’re in person

  • If using publisher-provided resources, like test banks and quizzes, randomly sort the questions and answers so that students don’t all have the same question 1

  • Set a time limit for tests and quizzes, but consider how much time you give your students based on the complexity of the questions

4. Simplify: Simplify your course content as much as possible

  • Consider reducing some of the curriculum to just the key points: we all have more going on, so honing in on the core concepts can help make sure you get to the important material up front

5. Communicate: Communicate with your students on a regular basis

  • Offer virtual office hours

  • Use that weekly email to connect with students about upcoming deadlines and to provide common feedback about areas most students seems to be struggling with

There are so many challenges to successfully navigating the realm of online education. Some final advice to consider: remember to treat your students as humans who are also going through a difficult time, but also treat yourself well and pay attention to your work/life balance.

For more free content from Stacy Mallicoat, click on one of the following resources: 

Mallicoat's Chapter Excerpt

Debate a Current Controversy:
Should Marijuana be Legalized?

Teach an Introduction to Criminal Justice course? Check out Mallicoat’s newest title: