Review your Course Activities
Offering some class activities online can help provide continuity or recover lost class time. Review your planned in-class face-to-face activities and consider comparable online activities. This list should help you find the the closest parallels between your in person class activity and the online equivalent. Whenever possible, the linked resource is to the related activity (ie: recording in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Discussion Boards in Google Classroom etc...)
Communication and Class Participation
Office hours: in-person questions
Provides a virtual face-to-face environment;
Has the ability to share one’s computer screen for sharing of ideas and resources
Where applicable, meeting recordings can be used for future review.
Whole class or small group discussion
Blogs in QWriting (in writing);
FlipGrid (via videos).
Visual discussion forum. Students upload recorded responses from a computer or phone to a discussion topic posted by the instructor.
Work can be shared with the instructor and/or in a public class forum. Instructors can provide feedback to students using text, video, or graded rubrics.
In-class discussion about projects
Google docs/slides/sheets for collaborative group work;
Google docs commenting feature for instructors providing instant feedback.
Students collaborate online to research, analyze, synthesize, and prepare projects;
Instructors receive immediate updates and provide guidance to groups.
Email comments on an assignment using Microsoft Word
In class small group discussion (in the context of a synchronous course session)
Synchronous virtual discussion tools within Google and/or Blackboard allow students to discuss in real time in smaller groups akin to small group discussions in class.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows students to automatically be assigned to “break-out groups” within the same Collaborate Session. After a set amount of time determined by the instructor, students are returned to the main room. This can be done in conjunction with a Google Slides presentation where each student group works on a slide in a collaboratively shared document.
In-class quizzes or exams
You can set available time/date, and allowed duration of the test in the settings
You can set quizzes to be automatically graded and added to the Grade Center;
Instructors can retrieve quiz analysis on the Blackboard.
By their nature, all online quizzes and tests are open book- but various mechanisms can be employed to stop cheating including limiting the amount of time the student is allowed to spend on the test.
Alternatively, one can choose to allow students to take the test multiple times, learning from their mistakes.
Using publishers' test banks in Blackboard
If you’ve already uploaded the test bank to your Blackboard course, deploy the test by following the steps at "Add a test or survey to a content area"
Google Forms also allows one to create automatically graded tests and quizzes, but the timed test, scheduled availability, and random question features are not available.
One can link the quiz/test to their Google Classroom to distribute it and port the grades over afterwards.
Collaboration & Peer Review
Collaboration among students (Group Projects)
Editing can be done online synchronously and asynchronously;
Documents can be shared within student groups and with the instructor, so the instructor can see the group progress and check who contribute to the project specifically;
Instructors may grade the project based on individual contribution and group project achievement.
Youtube videos for demonstrations.
In class lectures or guest speakers
Lectures can be recorded with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra,
Quicktime Player can also be used for Mac machines
Powerpoint (Windows version only) allows you to save your narrated slides as a video file.
View instructor-shared Powerpoint or Google Slides without recordings.
NOTE: Recorded lectures should be broken up - so that each topic video is shorter than 10 minutes- this helps keep students engaged and on track.
Hands-on laboratory class alternatives
Many instructors feel strongly that in-person lab instruction cannot be replaced effectively in an online learning environment. However, sometimes extenuating circumstances require unique accommodations. Converting a lab class to an online course requires careful consideration because there are many skills and content that get covered in a traditional laboratory setting. Many non-traditional lab options are now available; examples are here and here. A recent article in Nature suggests that there are some unique opportunities in the online lab learning environment.
When moving laboratory classes to an online environment, instructors must ask themselves:
What are the skills we want students to get from participating in the labs?
What is the content knowledge students should gain from these labs?
Standard lecture material, research articles, and videos can be moved to the online environment quickly. Refer to CTL’s keep teaching guide on the best strategies for moving this content online. The question becomes: how do we teach physical skills, experimental design, and other lab-specific lessons using an online environment? While we may not be able to teach all skills in an online environment, below is a curated list of resources to help in moving some lab activities online. Some of the links include complete labs, and some are simulations that mimic lab experiments. When using online lab activities, follow them up with more traditional laboratory reports or hypothesis-driven experiments.
Because many labs require specific equipment, they can be difficult to reproduce online. Suggestions, provided by the University of Maryland, include:
Moving aspects of lab activities online, particularly those that require students to familiarize themselves with procedures or data analysis or manipulation.
Providing video demonstrations of techniques, online simulations, analysis of data, and other pre- or post-lab work to prepare students to hit the ground running when the campus reopens.
Examination and exploration requiring utilization of critical thinking skills that relate to course objectives.
An analysis is shared with the instructor and/or class with posts in a discussion forum or class blog.
Biology and Earth Science Labs
Playing video or multimedia in class
The Instructor can have the quiz automatically graded, giving the students real-time feedback on the relevant topic.