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Where should you start?

23 Feb 2021

First, take a deep breath. And another. And again.

You can do this. Seriously.

Before you try to quickly move your teaching online, take a few minutes to figure out (1) your priorities, (2) your tools, and (3) your constraints.

First, take a deep breath. And another. And again.

You can do this. Seriously.

Before you try to quickly move your teaching online, take a few minutes to figure out (1) your priorities, (2) your tools, and (3) your constraints. Once you have these three things figured out, a lot of the other questions around teaching online will almost answer themselves. But first, you need to answer at least some of the questions below.

 

1. Your Priorities

What do you want students to learn? Is it a specific skill or set of skills? Factual information? Foundational theories/ideas? Something else entirely? Now, of course, almost every class will touch on all of these -- and much more besides! -- but it's nearly impossible to do absolutely everything your first time teaching something online/remotely. So, you'll have to prioritise.

2. Your Tools

What platform are you using? What software and other tools do you have access to (for example, at UCC, all staff have access to Canvas - our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) - as well as Microsoft Teams, gSuite, and Office365)? How confident are you in using these tools? Is there an option to acquire other technologies if appropriate?

3. Your Constraints

Are you on a shared computer? How new/old is it? Do you have a dedicated workspace? What's your internet connection like? Beyond tech, do you have caring responsibilities? Other people also working/studying at home? What do you know about the constraints facing your students?

 

With the answers to these questions - and any others that may have occurred to you along the way -- you're now ready to plan your teaching. This process will be different for everyone and will likely be quite similar to how you plan your face-to-face teaching. But the most important thing is to do your best to match what you want to teach (priorities) with how you'll teach it (tools). So, for example, if close reading or reading comprehension are your priority skills, you'll want to include more readings than video. And so on.

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