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Transitioning College courses to Online

  • 1.  Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 16 days ago
    I hope everyone is safe during this crisis!
    My community college has asked us to move all courses, including ESL, to online. We have been using Blackboard for some time and we began making Zoom training available to all instructors. We face challenges in using effective and engaging teaching practices, testing and grading academic essay/writing assignments at all levels from beginner to pre-college. Please share any proven pedagogical techniques or best practices you have experience with.

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    Nancy Silvestro
    Executive Director - Center for Teaching & Learning
    ESL Professor
    Passaic County Community College
    1 College Blvd.
    Paterson, NJ 07505
    973.684.5585
    nsilvestro@pccc.edu
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  • 2.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Nancy,
    I shared the following message with the TEIS SIG community as a means initiate discussion on pedagogy and online teaching. What I know now (and am still learning), I picked up along the way from when I was first hired as a faculty member in 2004. I began with a blended load, meaning I taught and continue to teach in two mediums i.e. face-to-face and online (and in between) because that was where things were then and even now, up until most recently.
    -----

    One of the immediate reactions I am hearing in our sudden move to the online platform, is something along the lines of, "I am afraid to teach online because I am not good with technology or I am not up-to-date with the latest in technology" and so and so forth.

    Pedagogy instead of technology, should drive instruction, not the other way round, in my opinion. Technology, at its most basic, is only an instructional tool. Thus, as I reflect on this, I would like to begin to share some thoughts on pedagogy as an invitation for us all to share pedagogical considerations as we think about teaching online during these uncertain times.

    I begin with making a distinction between "teacher" and "teaching presence" (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). Teacher presence consist of teachers being right there and present in the classroom, undertaking direct instruction. Whereas teaching presence is the design, development, facilitation, contextualization of classroom activities and environment, so that students know what to do on their own what they get into the online classroom. It is the "backroom preparation" that we spend a lot of time on.

    One of my ways of maintaining teaching presence, over the years (since 2004), that has worked for me, is to self-story my "grand design" in the teacher education classes I teach. Namely, this is to make transparent/narrate in the background, why I am doing something and what I am joyfully hoping or struggling with to achieve. Although not a foolproof way that achieves all the results that I hope, I thrive on the collaborative feedback I get from online students in terms of how we can work together.  Most recently I enabled Course Networking (CN) on the Canvas platform for the purpose.  But email and other messaging tools would work as well.   

    Chime in with other pedagogical thoughts if you have time. Hang in there!   \o/
    Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair Elect
    Indiana University



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    Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair Elect
    Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
    https://www.fpawan.com/
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  • 3.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thanks for your input, Faridah!  I have found some informative posts on this discussion board; yours among them!

    As our faculty are beginning to develop a basic comfort level with technology, we are now looking for specific pedagogical practices such as lessons and demonstrations about grading, assignments, feedback, etc.  At this point, we could use specifics on what to do not just how to use resources and technology. Many of our faculty are experienced teachers, but beginners with technology and material development.

    We are taking baby steps, but we are moving ahead! Any assistance is appreciated!

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    Nancy Silvestro
    Executive Director - Center for Teaching & Learning
    ESL Professor
    Passaic County Community College
    1 College Blvd.
    Paterson, NJ 07505
    973.684.5585
    nsilvestro@pccc.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 12 days ago

    Hi Nancy - 

    I have just emailed you.  Your staff might find this video on quickly transitioning to online courses very useful: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQKavQcWVMo

    I think a few key things to remember are that your students may also be struggling with making the transition to new technology.  I would ask for their patience and remind them that they will both be learning together. 

    There are a few things your staff can do to help with the transition.  In Zoom, I have found the use of 'breakout rooms' very useful for creating more interactive discussions. 

    Your staff might want to incorporate the use of things like Google Docs, which can be set up so that everyone can work on them in real time during classes. 

    What kinds of assessments are you hoping to do? 

    Feel free to respond here, or to my email! 

    Melanie



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    Melanie Johnson
    United States
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  • 5.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 11 days ago
    The video is excellent. I highly recommend it! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    Nancy Silvestro
    Executive Director - Center for Teaching & Learning
    ESL Professor
    Passaic County Community College
    1 College Blvd.
    Paterson, NJ 07505
    973.684.5585
    nsilvestro@pccc.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 12 days ago
      |   view attached
    Greetings from El Paso. These are activity handouts I created to use in my ESOL classes. They can help, if you are teaching students on rhetorical/text analysis. Feel free to use as a general guide and adapt depending on your teaching style and needs and, if you have any questions, please let me know.

    Be safe at home.



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    Luz Garcia
    ESOL Instructor
    The University of Texas at El Paso
    lmgarcia@utep.edu
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    Attachment(s)



  • 7.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, Luz!  As I look through this handout, I see ways to adapt some of our current materials.  Much appreciated!
    Margaret

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    Margaret Hurdlik
    Director of English As a Second Language
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
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  • 8.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 11 days ago
    I wanted to share the words of this Facebook post by Gavin Dudeney, who is an expert in digital language teaching. I found his ideas very sensible and encouraging at a time when there is a lot of anxiety--not to say panic--out there around converting to online teaching:

    "So, suddenly not only are people being asked to use Zoom to teach all their classes online, they're also being told they should be making it even more exciting by incorporating two hundred tools - Padlet, Quizlet, Schnizlet, Kahoot, Schrute, Gamut, Kakadu, Dobedoo and loads more.

    Teachers are being told that they can't just do it - there are experts who work in this field. It's not the same as teaching face-to-face. You can't just do what you've always done.

    But, see... the thing is, you can (at least for the moment), and you probably actually should. Because your students need a teacher at the moment, not someone carrying out hurried experiments.

    Ah sure, people will try to sell you things and tools and their advice and more, but maybe - just maybe the first thing you need to do is simply do a bit of teaching. Pick things up slowly, try something new occasionally.

    Stick some sticky whiteboard paper on a wall in your house, get a decent webcam and a microphone and do what you do best - teach. Draw, write, show, demonstrate, ask questions, involve people, have discussions. Do what you know. In a while maybe try the breakout rooms, or add something else in. But first get comfortable.

    Online teaching IS different, and in time you may well want to do a course, or get some more skills. And these may make you a better online teacher for as long as it's needed. With some training you'll acquire new skills and work out how to combine asynchronous tools with synchronous tools, how to plan an online course, how to moderate an online course, how to support and mentor people online. All this would be great, and useful - in the long run.

    But for now, you know how to do what you do, so just do it like that and don't get stressed or pressured. There will be time enough for everyone to become experts, I suspect." -- Gavin Dudeney



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    Joe McVeigh
    Member, Board of Directors, TESOL International Association 2018-2021
    Middlebury, VT
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  • 9.  RE: Transitioning College courses to Online

    Posted 10 days ago

    Hi Everyone,

    I read today a line which I would like to share with you, "There is no winter in the land of hope. Only spring time!"

    I echo here what Joe was saying about teaching. I believe the "magic" is still in the teacher, online or onsite.

    When I teach online "teaching presence" instead "teacher presence" becomes a dominant feature and consideration. In maintaining teaching presence, a few things that I have tried, viz.:

    1. Structuring a routine: An identifiable routine for when I send out messages to students e.g. the day and time each week.
    2. Structuring in interactivity: I model posting of not more than 300-400 words. This is mainly to maintain interactivity and to let students know that we are in a discussion mode and not in a presentation mode. Long soliloquys, I have learned, do not invite engagement.
    3. Assigning students' specific roles. The most common roles are starter, provocateur, wrapper. That way students know what to do and know their responsibility when they join in online class discussions. (You can get students to create roles of their own as well to engage).
    4. Requiring students to self-code responses. This is to help students to keep track of and think about how their responses relate to class objectives. Helping students with self-regulation skills, essential in online learning, is important in the work of online instructors.

    Faridah at 230 words.



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    Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair Elect
    Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
    https://www.fpawan.com/
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