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Teaching Online

Page history last edited by Chris Werry 3 years, 11 months ago



Teaching Files from the Fall 2020 Orientation - Google Drive



Some Thoughts on Teaching Online During a Pandemic


Synchronous vs. asynchronous: we recommend those new to online teaching (as we are) include a mix of synchronous 
and asynchronous classes. It makes sense to have a number of synchronous classes at the start of the semester to establish
classroom community. But after that the ratio is up to you. If you 
have a MWF schedule, you could meet synchronously once
per week (most weeks). But you can 
meet synchronously more often if you wish. At the same time, we will have to
accommodate students 
who may need to do most of the class asynchronously. So we can't grade on attendance, and we
may need to provide alternatives for students who can't make synchronous classes. That might mean recording synchronous
Zoom sessions, or giving them some alternative work to post 
on a discussion board or hand in via Google d

Keeping it Simple: I plan on keeping things very simple, at least at the start. I want my online teaching to be easily accessible to
all students, be (mostly) 
fool-proof, and very flexible. I may experiment with more sophisticated tools as the semester progresses,
but I'll begin by getting all students 
writing and participating with a set of simple tools.


In essence, this simplified approach involves 3 main elements:

  1. Basic, “lightweight” use of Canvas to do things like a) set up my profile and personalize my site, b) publish
    the syllabus, schedule, and assignments, c) send announcements and emails, and d) set up a discussion board so
    students can submit homework and discuss readings. The discussion board will be the main way I'll use Canvas. 

    At this point I don't plan on using Canvas modules, as I want to be able to make changes on the fly (but you should
    use modules if you are familiar with them and like their affordances. You could create a module for each unit, and only
    publish the next one when you feel ready, to give you some flexibility.

  2. Using Zoom to host synchronous classes and manage group work. There are just a few things you need to know to usep
    Zoom effectively. These include managing basic settings, muting and unmuting students, sharing your screen, and creating
    breakout groups where smaller groups of students can discuss and work together. Breakout groups can be used with Google
    docs so that everyone can see the work being done in all the groups.

  3. Google folders and docs to create a workflow via which students submit drafts and final papers, and carry
    out peer review. 
     This 10 minute video explaining how to use Google folders and docs to manage most of the student
    writing you will receive is extremely helpful. It is by Derek Muller, a very experienced writing program administrator and
    teacher. (You can use Canvas and Turnitin to do the same work, but that is more complicated and less flexible - harder to
    make changes as you go). Chris Werry created a 1-page handout summarizing Mueller's instructions. 

  4. Using Hypothes.is for social reading, annotation, charting, modeling analysis, and disussion. See Hypothesis guide    


More on Using Google Drive and Docs for Peer Review
You can use Google Drive and Google Docs to organize peer review. Derek Mueller has produced a very helpful, 10 minute video
explaining how to use Google Drive folders and Google docs to manage student writing, peer review, and comments. This is a
simple, flexible way of organizing peer review (and the entire workflow of student writing). It’s particularly useful if you want to
move quickly and don’t want (or can’t) plan the entire semester in advance by creating assignments linked to Turnitin and Peermark.
At the same time, you lose some of the “automation” that the Canvas/Blackboard Peermark system enables. So there are trade-offs.
Note that starting fall 2020, all SDSU students receive Google suite products and the university supports this. They will use Google
products with their SDSU IDs. So this makes sharing and access easier. 


Technology Tips from the Fall 2020 Orientation 

  1. Jason Parker, "10 Lessons from two semesters of teaching online"
  2. Chris Werry, Lessons learned from spring and summer about online teaching   
  3. Tips on conducting discussion and organizing asynchronous discussion boards   
  4. Using Hypothesis for Charting, Peer Review and Feedback  
  5. For students: how to view instructor feedback in Turnitin on Canvas (Jason)
  6. Tips on syllabus design and avoiding problems 
  7. SDSU'S fall 2020 syllabus checklist 
  8. Norton's guide to integrating their ebooks They Say/I Say and Little Seagull Handbook into Canvas  
  9. How to activate just some They Say tutorials (Jason)  



RWS Guides to Online Teaching



SDSU Support and Guides to Online Teaching 


Locating your Canvas Site

Note that you might already have a Canvas account that will become visible when you visit https://sdsu.instructure.com

If you log into this site through your sdsu email account (the one you have as an employee/instructor rather than as a student)
it may already be there. Your student gmail account usually has 4 numbers in it (e.g. jsmith1234@sdsu.edu), whereas your instructor
account is usually just your surname and some initials. You may have been sent an automatic
email with your new employee/instructor
account some time back and so will need to search your email. If that is the issue, then an employee email account may be the
place to start to get access to Canvas. Once you have that, and log into
https://sdsu.instructure.com, you may see your Canvas class. 



Videos to Help Teach Writing

There are three particularly useful collections of resources for students and teachers. You could use videos from
these collections as part of your lectures, or to direct students to for help.


  1. Purdue video playlist on teaching writing https://www.youtube.com/user/OWLPurdue 
  2. University of Maryland, Baltimore Writing Center playlist of videos for teaching writing  
  3. UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center playlist of videos for teaching writing https://www.youtube.com/user/UNCWritingCenter/videos



SDSU Library Resource to Help with library Research During the Pandemic

  • The library created a manual for library research that might be useful for students. When developing this resource they imagined it
    might be a "companion to our OER RWS textbook, and act as a guide, now that it will be harder to provide in-person library instruction."


Powerpoints and Podcasts from Other Writing Programs





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