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Course Continuity: When Exceptional Circumstances Arise

Earlham College courses are based on face-to-face learning, but core elements can largely transition online. This guide outlines ways for faculty to teach online when exceptional circumstances arise. Faculty confronting an extended campus emergency will receive additional information, including live online training. Faculty aiming to build a full online course should first consult with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. This is an introductory guide, prioritizing key options and brevity for faculty facing difficult situations.

For additional help go to the Course Continuity Help page, https://library.earlham.edu/coursecontinuity/help, to contact a support team member.

I want to communicate with my students.

First, maintain communication patterns that you’ve already established for the sake of continuity.

-

Option

How to 

a)

Use Moodle’s built-in communication tools.

Moodle Help: Announcements & Forums (see also: Online Discussion Tips)

Moodle Help: Quickmail

Moodle Help: Messages

Moodle Help: Chats

b)

Record quick audio messages and share to student(s).

Vocaroo (free third-party tool)

I want to share documents/media with my students.

-

Option

How to 

a)

Share files (handouts, slide decks, readings, etc.) in Moodle.

Moodle Help: Content

b)

Share large files via Earlham Box.

ITS Box Documentation

I want to enable class discussion. Warning: "real-time" isn't guaranteed.

-

Option

How to 

a)

Meet using web conferencing software.

Think very carefully about potential student equity issues (e.g. lack of access to connectivity or hardware) and the logistics of different time zones.

Zoom - create your own username (your sessions have a 40-minute limit). If you need more time contact helpdesk@earlham.edu for an Earlham Zoom license. 

Quick Start Guide for Teaching (Earlham)

 

Zoom Teaching Manual (Claremont McKenna)

 

 

b)

Use online tools for asynchronous discussions.

Moodle Help: Forums

Flipgrid (free third-party tool)

Vialogues (free third-party tool)

Tips: Online Discussions

c)

Use online tools for synchronous discussions.

Moodle Help: Chat Rooms

I want to record a lecture or demonstration. Warning: captions required
Federal law requires equal access to all educational materials. The legal precedent for higher education is that all lectures with audio need to be captioned. As a one-size-fits-all solution, automatic captions can be created and edited in YouTube. We recommend that all faculty upload videos to YouTube and link to the files. If you do not want your videos to be publicly available make the video Unlisted. See other options below. Another option is to upload to Earlham Box: ITS Box Documentation

-

Option

How to 

a)

Record your voice over a slide deck.

Use PowerPoint or Google Slides with their built-in voice recording functions. Note: both options also have caption features that are available, varying by PowerPoint version.

b)

Record your screen and/or yourself.

Use free third-party tools like Screencast-O-Matic or SnagIt to record your screen. These have caption features.
 

Use QuickTime (Mac) or a webcam to record video. No caption features.
 

Start a solo Zoom session >  share your screen (with yourself) > start recording the screen including a whiteboard option for formulae, equations, squiggles.

 

Tips: Online Lectures

I want to meet "real-time" with my students. Warning: do not assume all students can do so.

-

Option

How to 

a)

Meet during your class session or schedule office hours using Zoom (web conferencing software).

Think very carefully about potential student equity issues (e.g. lack of access to connectivity or hardware) and the logistics of different time zones.

Zoom - create your own username (your sessions have a 40-minute limit). If you need more time contact helpdesk@earlham.edu for an Earlham Zoom license. 

Zoom Quick Start Guide for Teaching (Earlham)

 

Zoom Teaching Manual (Claremont McKenna)

b)

Chat via text. (May be useful for students without high-speed internet access.)

Moodle Help: Chat Rooms

I want to offer a test or quiz.

-

Option

How to 

a)

Post your existing paper-based quiz as an Assignment activity in Moodle.

Moodle Help: Assignments

b)

For oral exams, have students upload video, audio, or other files via an Assignment activity in Moodle

Note: Moodle limits file sizes, so they may need to post files in Earlham Box or YouTube.

Moodle Help: Assignments

c)

Create Moodle-based quizzes using the Quiz activity.

Moodle.org Quiz Documentation

d)

Use Qualtrics to create surveys with automatic scoring.

Qualtrics
How to build a Quiz in Qualtrics
Qualtrics Scoring

e)

Use Google Forms to create and grade quizzes. 

Create and grade Quizzes in Google Forms

I want to do something hands-on experiential (lab, field work, studio). Warning: this entails rethinking a lot of things. 

Experiential learning may be impossible to fully translate into an online space. However, there are some steps that may work for some activities.

 

Option

a)

Use existing web tutorials, recordings, virtual labs, etc. We know this isn’t perfect. Hands-on learning is arguably the hardest course element to transition online.

b)

Focus on learning goals. Is there a way to (somewhat) accomplish the same goal in a different way? Labs focusing on in-class data analysis might be revised to have students analyzing publicly available government or technical datasets.

c)

Music or Art? Courses might use Zoom, webcams, Audacity [free audio recording/editing software], etc. to achieve partial online equivalencies.

d)

In the wake of COVID-19, faculty that teach face-to-face labs, studio and performing arts, and other experiential learning are sharing examples of how to move discipline-specific pedagogy online. Check the websites and social media of your professional societies, or do searches on the open web for things like Ideas for Teaching Clay Online. Here are links to a few, more established web resources about moving hands-on learning online.

I want students to record a presentation
Create a Moodle Assignment as a space for students to upload or link to their recorded presentations.

Note: Moodle limits file sizes, so they may need to post files in Earlham Box or YouTube.
 

-

Option

How to 

a)

Students record their voice over a slide deck

Use PowerPoint or Google Slides with their built-in voice recording functions.

b)

Students record their screen and/or themselves

Use free third-party tools like Screencast-O-Matic or SnagIt to record your screen. 
 

Use QuickTime (Mac), a webcam, or a cellphone to record video.
 

Start a solo Zoom session >  share your screen (with yourself) > start recording the screen including a whiteboard option for formulae, equations, squiggles.

I want to learn more about teaching online.

This document is intended to be a "quick start" page and preparing an online course typically takes weeks of development. Even so, here is additional information if you are interested. 

-

Option

How to 

a)

Basic document accessibility is a requirement. Here are quick (for the most part), effective solutions.

Online lectures in any format whatsoever need to be captioned per USA federal law and numerous lawsuits.

Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word 
(University of Washington)

Creating Accessible PDFs from Microsoft Word 
(University of Washington)

Creating Accessible Presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint 
(University of Washington)

Creating Accessible Spreadsheets
(University of Minnesota)

Make Your Document or Presentation More Accessible
(Google Support for Docs and Slides)

Google Voice Typing
(Google Support: Chrome Browser Only)

  • Type with your voice to generate a transcript using Docs or Slides. Example uses:
    • Record [your lecture, a Zoom session, anything spoken word] and play it in the background on your computer. Turn on Google Voice Typing in Docs (Chrome only) and it generates a real-time transcript.
    • Oral history transcription.
    • Physical accommodation scenarios (faculty or student).

b)

Instructor presence can be maintained online. Here are quick, effective solutions

Tips: Instructor Presence

c)

Online discussions are unique yet similar to on-ground discussions. Here are quick, effective solutions.

Tips: Online Discussions

d)

Online Lectures

Tips: Online Lectures

e)

Testing things in Moodle

If you'd like to test/experiment in a Moodle course without breaking your real course, you can add yourself to the All Faculty Sandbox course in Moodle.

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