Five Things you can do to create a more sustainable remote learning experience for you and students

Inclusive Teaching Tip | Fall 2020

The Inclusive Teaching Tip is brought to you by our colleagues in Academic & Career Advising, who have distilled what they are hearing from students into five hot tips.

#1 Create a single, updated, centralized list of assignments and due dates

Students report faculty have been responsive to their need to have an adjusted workload, but between so many platforms, they are having a difficult time keeping track of evolving expectations. Having a single list of all assignments posted somewhere, that is up-to-date, will help clarify your expectations. Reducing anxiety through creating clarity gives students more headspace to focus on what is truly important to their learning.

#2 Diversify synchronous time with activities away from the screen

Find ways to engage students beyond listening and talking at the screen in a large group. As we all are, students are getting Zoom brain. Find ways to combat this by having students write by hands, do activities in the room (away from the screen), or creatively engage in another medium. 

#3 Students need more frequent breaks

Taking a break every 20 minutes during synchronous learning can feel disruptive, but not doing so can lead to burnout, for everyone. No matter how difficult it feels, please remind your students to stand up, move,or at least look away from the screen every 20 minutes. In the end, this preserves our longevity and creativity as a group. 

#4 A place to be social

Hallways were once a place where people gathered while they came and went from classes, and provided students with an opportunity to have interactions with one another beyond shared academic projects. How can you create a “hallway reminiscent experience” out of your online learning platform? Students report that they are missing out on a key part of their development in college- socializing and meeting new people, developing new role models and finding places to joke and deeply connect.Do what you can to encourage students to gather in dyad, triad, and other small group arrangements outside of synchronous class time so that they can build the social benefits of school while learning online at Evergreen.

#5 Build in time to modify and add to home workspaces

Lets face it, when a zoom day ends, the last thing most of us want to do is think about revamping or improving our home workstation. Yet, many of us are working in situations that are less than ergonomic or spaces that need to have kinks worked out. Encouraging students (and yourself) to take 10 minutes each day to assess what can be done to help the mind and body find better health at the desk and computer, will contribute endless returns to an ability to focus and be happy in school and work.

The Inclusive Teaching Tips are a series of simple, equitable teaching practices published in the Learning and Teaching Commons Newsletter. The tips are archived here.

For many, many more inclusive teaching resources and to add your own, visit ALL LEARNERS WELCOME: Resources for Designing Inclusive Learning Experiences.

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