Monday, May 11, 2020

Virtual Teaching, Mixed Synchronous-Asynchronous (Version 0.9 Not Final Firmware)

Cal Poly SLO, where I work, is on quarter system. So we had the advantage and challenges of ending winter quarter in March, and starting spring quarter in April. It's been an adventure to put it mildly, and I am thankful that my family is healthy and safe.

This quarter I am teaching Calculus 2 to a group of 35 students. These students range from first year to third year, and span science, engineering, math, and architecture majors. I have not met these students before in person.  We started the term on April 6, and most all students left the area to go back home. Goal #1 is to build community.

Technology and internet are not issues in my class for students. I know these are issues that have to be dealt with, and this was not an issue this term for me.  My institution also did well to provide support for students and to get students, staff, and faculty the devices and connectivity needed. So I won't comment on tech issues.

The short version:  carefully craft "tutorial handouts" that guide students to the main learning goals. Work through some of it in class with regular student-centered activities. Students who can't make class at the scheduled time can work through the tutorial handout (where expanded solutions with insights are posted). Classes are also recorded so students who can't connect can view the class later.  Overall, class meetings are a mix of synchronous and asynchronous (75%-25% split).

Details in these slides below.

Earlier related posts:
  1. Draft Plans for Running a Virtual Class
  2. Thoughts on Human-Centered Teaching (Coronavirus)
Sample Handout (Clean Link, After Class Link)