this is a short text I wrote and sent to the teachers of the USP Master’s Programme and I felt it might help some other colleagues at the university, so I decided to turn it into a post for this blog.
The digital ‘leap’ has happened overnight in all higher education in the US, Ireland and in less coordinated ways in Italy, some interesting reflections about it can be found here.
If you are already trained and have experience in digital teaching, you don’t really need to read further, if the case is not so (33.3 % of my teaching survey responded that they don’t have any experience in that) please bear with me for a quick introduction.
First of all, I hope that all of you set up a Moodle for your course.
If you haven’t, you should request one immediately!
A good guide showing you how to use Moodle and where to get assistance is to be found here
I normally organize my moodle into blocks such as introduction to the course, schedule, slides, readings, assignments, some others organise them temporally, according to the lecture dates.
In a course I started teaching yesterday, I already set up various assignments to be done within Moodle forums.
Forums are a simple function of Moodle students can upload assignments such as texts, pictures, videos or sounds and then interact by commenting on one another. You can also tutor this activity remotely, by commenting yourself on the entries.
Very important is to provide clear simple instructions and reasonable deadlines for performing the tasks.
If you are interested in working with videos and or streaming here you can find a full list of alternatives.
The best in a state of emergency is Zoom:
(If you have a laptop of the University, Zoom is pre-installed, otherwise, you should download it, although it also works as browser-based)
Zoom also gives you the chance to record your lecture (for future uses for instance) on your computer or on the cloud.
Please remember that following a full lecture (90 minutes) in front of a computer can be very boring and that pauses or moments of interaction (someone suggested telling all students to stand up and do some exercises after 30 minutes) are very important.
The Guardian published an interesting article about backgrounds and dressing etiquette when streaming from home.
Maybe it is wise developing the lecture with individual learning (having a look at the slides beforehand / reading an article) followed by the teacher streaming presentation or video (lasting no more than 30 minutes).
if you want to work with recorded videos, you could simply record with your telephone and a selfie-stick or with your computer and upload the videos on Moodle.
The university has professional dedicated studios and software for that as well, the UniTube that you can book and find here.
It takes time and experience to get to build an online course and bringing a live / in-person course online is even more difficult, but I hope that some of these instruments will help you.
There are of course plenty of other activities that can be performed through these instruments and with others, these are some of the basic ones. If you need tutoring, please refer to the Hy helpdesk and the university has just set up a page with some developing info.