Faculty Share Tips, Practices, Stories
From encouraging quieter students to participate through Google Docs to inviting theatre artists as guests and cracking jokes with students through class WhatsApp groups, these faculty members are finding creative ways to keep students engaged.
Keeping up with the pace
My classes are taught in a feedback-oriented seminar style, so I needed a way of keeping that up while in online-only mode. I am using Mentimeter (an interactive presentation software) asynchronously for polling students. The students respond on their phones as normal, then I download the slides and either upload results slides to our discussion board for discussion or into my PowerPoint lectures.asynchronously for polling students.
Chris Barker, assistant professor, Department of Political Science
Encouraging student engagement
I began posting discussion questions on a shared Google Doc and asking each student to respond to one of the questions and make two comments on their classmates’ responses. I was surprised at how well this worked. Some students who weren’t always confident speaking in class really shone when given time to compose their thoughts in writing.
Alyssa Young, instructor, Department of Rhetoric and Composition
Change isn't so bad
You would think that teaching multimedia reporting during a pandemic would be impossible but fortunately, it worked out well. I reversed student work having them conduct all interviews via communication technologies, gathering all data into infograms and using pictures and filming that they can’t do physically through sites like Creative Commons.
Naila Hamdy, associate professor and associate dean for Graduate Students and Research, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
The show must go on
I’m trying a lot of exercises that get students connecting with each other in front of the class. I’m doing a lot of work with individual students or partners — watching them perform and then giving feedback through Zoom or Google Meet. I’ve also reached out to several notable theatre practitioners and held master classes with them as guest artists.
Jillian Campana, professor and director of AUC's Theatre Program
"Less is more"
The most important thing I learned when teaching online was to be focused. Students seemed to be more successful in any particular class session where the lesson plan was very focused; if the lesson plan was any “busier” than that, students felt too rushed.
Alexander Lewko, senior instructor I, Department of English Language Instruction
Have a laugh here and there
Schedule all lectures on Zoom during the class meeting time; run the lectures on campus using the white board;. You can also ask questions during the exam and let them write their answers in private as a sign of participation. Create WhatsApp groups for quick interactions and discussions with the students. Occasionally share with them music and jokes.
Wafik Lotfallah, professor, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science