Tips for Teaching Remotely

As coronavirus continues to spread, many schools are shifting classes online in an effort to protect their students and staff. But if your class is not lecture-based and requires student interaction, this can present a lot of challenges. Teaching Languages in Blended Synchronous Learning Classrooms is your essential guide for a smooth transition. University of Chicago senior lecturer Alba Girons and instructional technologist Nicholas Swinehart provide useful tips, strategies, and notes for teaching language in blended synchronous learning (BSL) environments that can be adapted for classes in different subjects. Read on for a preview of the strategies in the book.

1.     Technology. Make sure you and your students know how to use the audio/video technology that is available. Provide a tutorial and/or videos if possible and make sure everyone is aware of any back up options such as email or chat. Provide protocols on “What to do if…” for common issues that may arise.

2.     Preparation. Make sure your students have access to any video and audio files so they can access them on their own. Provide them with a class plan or a list of activities so if something goes wrong with the communication technology they can continue working independently.

3.     Student attention. When addressing students, alternate between addressing those in class with you and those who are working remotely to balance interactions between the two groups. Be sure to provide students with one-on-one time and attention, including through online office hours if possible.

4.     After class. Use email to follow up with students after class both to establish bonds that are harder to develop remotely and to make sure they have everything they need.

For more guidance on transitioning to teaching online, check out Teaching Languages in Blended Synchronous Learning Classrooms by Alba Girons and Nicholas Swinehart.

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