With many options for teaching modality this fall, effective planning and preparation will be essential to deliver a successful course. It will be particularly important to consider teaching and learning activities which engage all learners, whether they are in-person or remote, and whether activities occur within or outside of class time. Sample activities and suggestions for implementation in various teaching modalities are provided in the table below or available for viewing as a pdf. These recommendations consider different groups of learners, evolving public health guidelines, and critically, the central goal of actively engaging all learners, regardless of teaching modality.

Sample Activity  Synchronous Online Classroom  Asynchronous Online Classroom  HyFlex Classroom (In-person and Online Sychronous)
Introductions 
  • Students turn on camera and/or microphone and introduce themselves 
  • Students go into breakout rooms for smaller group introductions
  • Students use online discussion forum, assignment, or icebreaker activity to introduce themselves within or outside of class
  • Supplemental introductions can occur simultaneously in web-conferencing breakout rooms (online learners) and in class (in-person learners)
Lecture 
Brainstorming 

Small/Large Group Discussions   
  • For small groups, students work in breakout rooms, share back with larger group  
  • For large groups, students raise their virtual hand to share using audio and/or video, or post ideas in the chat 
  • Students post and respond to peers via an online discussion forum by set deadlines (e.g., post by Tues. and respond to X posts by Thurs.)
  • Students post to an online discussion forum on a recurring schedule (e.g., weekly by 12pm on Wed., twice/week, 3 times per half term)
  • Instructors should always repeat questions to ensure they are heard by both sets of learners
Student Presentations
  • Students share screen and deliver presentation with audio and/or video
  • Online learners share screen and deliver presentation with audio and/or video
  • In-person learners present at front of class, using device with microphone (e.g., phone, laptop) to join web-conference audio to be heard online
  • Instructors may join web-conference with a device with microphone for presenters without a device
Case Studies 
  • A case study is shared (slide, document, text copied into chat, etc.), and students work in groups (breakout rooms) or in a large group to discuss and/or answer questions
  • A case study is shared (slide, document, text copied into chat, etc.), and students work alone, in small groups (e.g., breakout rooms for online learners, shared documents, online chat or aloud in class, when possible), or in a large group to discuss
  • Students attending in person and online can use a shared whiteboard (e.g., multi-user whiteboard in BigBlueButton or Zoom) to collaborate in real-time
Think-Pair-Share 
  • Students work in pairs in breakout rooms, then share ideas with the larger group
  • In-person learners use shared documents and/or online chat to collaborate, or speak aloud, when possible
  • Online learners use breakout rooms to pair up and discuss ideas
Question and Answer 
  • Students raise virtual hand or use chat in the web-conference to ask or answer a question
  • Instructor uses polls (e.g., Poll Everywhere) to ask all students a question
  • Students in class raise physical hand; online learners raise virtual hand or use chat
  • All learners use online discussion forum (e.g., FAQ, Ask the Instructor) to ask or answer questions anytime
Polling/
Clickers 
  • Live polls (e.g., Zoom, PollEverywhere) used to get feedback, do knowledge checks (e.g., multiple-choice questions); results displayed and discussed in class
  • Students provide feedback and do knowledge checks by completing online quizzes (e.g., multiple-choice)
  • Live polls used for both groups used to get feedback, do knowledge checks (e.g., multiple-choice questions), vote for discussion topics, and more; results can be displayed in real-time or later 
Review Sessions 
  • Content reviewed in online session using breakout rooms, polling, and ‘reaction’ features
  • Content is pre-recorded, then live meeting used for questions/discussion
  • Online learners use breakout rooms to discuss or solve problems in groups; polling and ‘reaction’ features used to gauge understanding
  • Content is pre-recorded and posted, then live meeting used for questions and/or discussion
    • Tip: Alternate taking questions/responses from in-person and online learners to create an engaging experience for both groups
  • Students prepare review questions and submit as assignment, post to discussion forums, do a video post, etc.
  • Students complete review quizzes during live session, using polling system (e.g., Poll Everywhere’s live remote quizzes can be presented with or without answers, can be timed and/or used in competition format for more live engagement)
Peer Review 
  • Students review other students’ materials outside class time, then share feedback in breakout rooms
  • Students use document-editing features to provide feedback on peer work and share over email
  • Students work in shared documents during class, then share feedback in breakout rooms, online chat, or in class (when possible)
  • Students use document-editing features to provide feedback on peer work during or outside of class time
Quick Check-ins 
  • Students use reactions (e.g., smiling face, frowning face, thumbs up or down) to respond to pace/understanding
  • Polls used by instructor to verify pace, understanding, etc.
  • Students complete check-in questions via an online quizassignment, or H5P lesson after each module, week, lesson, etc. (e.g., multiple-choice questions, note muddy points)
  • Polling can used by instructor to verify pace, understanding, etc. for both groups of learners
  • Online learners can use reactions (e.g., smiling face, frowning face, thumbs up or down) to respond to pace/understanding
  • Reflection activities can be used as pre-assessment activities and/or to get students thinking about content before class

Table adapted from McDaniels, Pfund, & Barnicle (2016)   

Resources:

  1. Using BigBlueButton, Using Zoom, Brightspace Support for Instructors
  2. University of Guelph: Exploring Synchronous Active Learning Activities
  3. Louisiana State University – Teaching Tools: Active Learning while Physically Distancing

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