During Spring 2021, the Teaching and Learning Innovations’ Learning Design Team was fortunate to partner with our first-ever TLi Faculty Mentors. Mentors are CSUCI Faculty who are experienced in the art of integrating teaching with technology to enhance student learning. As we get ready to introduce you to the 2021-2022 Digital Learning Mentors (DLMs), we would like to highlight contributions from our founding Faculty Mentors shared during Spring 2021. As are the words of any influential mentor, the wisdom shared last year can be applied today, and provide food for thought as we look ahead. We hope you’ll find something you can apply this term and beyond.
The following replay features Dr. Thomas Clobes from the Health Science Department.
Teaching Challenge: Student Accountability & Connection
Chances are if you are teaching during Fall 2021 you are likely engaging with students through some combination of mixed modalities. Meaning that you are teaching and managing your courses through some combination of in-person, asynchronous online, and synchronous online instruction and interaction. While mixed-modality provides flexible learning continuity for students, it can be challenging to establish a sense of community and connection while also keeping track of student attendance and participation while also allowing communicating flexible attendance policies that encourage students to pivot online or stay home if they are ill.
If you, as the instructor, find yourself trying to figure out “Who’s on first,” you might consider adopting Dr. Thomas Clobes’ use of Student Accountability Groups. Simply put, Accountability Groups are small groups of students who form a peer-support network that is responsible for holding each other accountable for class participation and coursework. For specific guidance on set-up and management, and data that illustrates the promising potential, take 40 minutes and watch Dr. Clobes’ Webinar from Spring 2021.
Teaching Challenge: Another Class in Zoom!?
If you’ve taught through any video conferencing platform, you’ve experienced those awkward silent moments you spend blinking back at students while you wait for everyone to join the session – on mute. For all its many benefits, 2D gatherings are not all that conducive to social small talk and side-bar conversations that ease us into the beginning of class. As the instructor, it can feel as if the spotlight is on you which can feel a bit uncomfortable, especially if you need a few moments to gather your thoughts before class begins. If this scenario strikes a chord, then we recommend revisiting Dr. Clobes’ blog, Creating a “Fun” Zoom Learning Environment.