#academictwitter #COVID19 resources for online (anthropo-)synchronous teaching

(Updated ten days later to change the title, a few days into actual onlinised teaching that is neither synchronous nor (possibly even) asynchronous in earlier, now anachronistic, senses of the words: we’re now into a different sense of chronology, a changed being-in-space-and-time, asynchrony in real time: maintaining hoping for anthroposynchrony.)

This is a post where I’ll list what has seemed to me to be helpful guidance from humanities colleagues with experience and expertise in teaching online.
Last updated: 2020-03-13 20:35


PROLOGUE

Not just “canned” classes. Not just recording a lecture for students to consume passively, like any other video on demand. Not just discussion and feedback that turns instructors into 24/7 customer service bots. None of these things that turn—or return—higher education to a simple hierarchical linear relationship, in which students produce for an audience of one and in exchange receive a grade. (More on that, and alternatives, at some other time.) No: seeing how we can think about learning, in a collegial network and community; and about innovative ways to make it more interactive, deeper, richer, and slower; more human, humane, humanimal; more networky and communitarian. Starting with the exemplary collegial community that is a global network of faculty, students, and other learners online: a community sharing knowledge in mutual aid.

It is impossible to disentangle social justice from hygiene. […] None of us is safe unless all of us are safe. Health just became public again.

Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times, 2020-03-09

Some NBs for fellow faculty in Canadian higher education institutions:

  • institutional specifics (as in other universities in other places too)
    • it is easy to feel trapped, in the middle of pressures from on top of you from a number of powers above you: Central, department, faculty, school, assorted services, IT, HR, legal/compliance; and students, as this is also a matter for faculty-student relations: while I prefer to see us as fellow members of the university and collaborative knowledge-seekers, the neoliberal university sees students as clients paying fees for a product (and rivals for attention in a competitive divisive system)
    • it does not have to feel this way: most of the above—perhaps even all of them—do intend to help, and there’s every reason why they should and could be supportive; the question for all of us to work together on is how to change that “being supportive” into allies’ solidarity and active practical support; in teaching, in our work, in working with and through a pandemic, as in anything else in life
    • it does not have to be this way: all of the above have the potential to be (or to change and become) a horizontal rhizomal network of mutual aid and social justice
  • FIPPA compliance
    • re. student information and privacy, and using services storing their data here, and not in the USA
  • academic freedom
    • consult your union or faculty association
    • our academic freedom is a different thing from freedoms in the USA that might superficially look like their words are related, this one here is amongst other things about how we teach so that includes platforms and methods, and remaining true to educational practices and principles; this is also a matter, if you must, of quality control
  • contractual terms
    • consult your union or faculty association
    • while like with academics elsewhere our work is not counted in hours per week and there is no unpaid overtime, there are limits to workload and it is subject to health and safety law; this is also, if you will, a matter of risk management
    • our contracts are agreed by collective bargaining, as a matter of labour law
    • that is a matter, usually, between the university—as employer—and your union or faculty association

The first set of links below are in chronological order. Links that struck me as the most immediately useful, imagining what it would be like if teaching purely virtually were completely new, are IN BOLD.

The second set is Twitter threads. They are in no order of value or usefulness, just the chronological one in which I’ve seen and read them.

The whole lot includes discussion of current and potential issues, practical and theoretical and political. That is part of strategic planning. You’ll also find ideas for tools: if your university doesn’t yet use them, or if there are barriers to doing so (FIPPA), information like this might help to persuade them. Better still, if you can’t use something (ex. my institution and Zoom) they and you might be able to work out a different solution, using a different tool, or repurpose an existing one or invent a new one. Bonus: disruptive subversive innovation. Any which way, with the added benefit that you’ve worked together and have been actively turning that “me vs Them” into a “we.”

(1a) RESOURCE COLLECTIONS

As you’ll see from the rest of the links below—I’m rereading my own reading history here—things rapidly went meta, from crowdsourcing and sharing, in two directions: centralised comprehensive collections (broad, more reading) and single simple short guides (narrow, less reading). I’m repeating the former here for ease of reference and as these are the fastest-moving resources that are updated most frequently.

TEACHING IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19: co-authored Google doc

SELECT RESOURCES FOR QUICKLY HANDLING THE COVID-19 ONLINE PIVOT: Kris Olds, Geography, UW-Madison (USA)

TRANSITIONING TO ONLINE TEACHING DURING COVID-19: Google doc, Kisha Tracy, Fitchburg State U, MA, (USA)

ID-ER NETWORK: INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK: connects institutions and educators to e-learning professionals willing to help convert face-to-face courses or course components to online offerings during times of crisis, such as natural disasters and epidemics

(1b) LINKS: FRIDAY 6 – MONDAY 9 MARCH 2020

https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/

http://blogs.ubc.ca/faq/#Groups_and_Forums

http://blogs.ubc.ca/faq/#Why_should_I_consider_using_external_services_to_store_my_images_and_documents.3F

http://blogs.ubc.ca/faq/#How_do_I_embed_YouTube_videos.3F

https://oudigitools.blogspot.com/2020/03/be-there-with-blogging-guide-for.html

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Going-Online-in-a-Hurry-What/248207

(1c) LINKS: TUESDAY 10 MARCH 2020 ONWARDS

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/07/10/professors-shouldnt-be-afraid-online-learning-essay

https://cat.wfu.edu/2020/03/covid19/

TEACHING IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19: co-authored Google doc

TRANSITIONING YOUR COURSE ONLINE FAST: Alexander Sidorkin, Dean, College of Education, Sacramento State University (California, USA)

SELECT RESOURCES FOR QUICKLY HANDLING THE COVID-19 ONLINE PIVOT: Kris Olds, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

THE COVID-19 ONLINE PIVOT: Martin Weller, The Open University (UK)

Teaching with technology during a disruptive event: University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

Teaching effectively during times of disruption: Jenae Cohn & Beth Seltzer, Stanford University (California, USA)

https://teachanywhere.stanford.edu/

ID-ER NETWORK: INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK: connects institutions and educators to e-learning professionals willing to help convert face-to-face courses or course components to online offerings during times of crisis, such as natural disasters and epidemics

Sensible and humane advice via Facebook:

“Please do a bad job of putting your courses online”: Rebecca Barrett-Fox (Sociology, Arkansas State U, USA); somewhat tongue-in-cheek title, it’s about teaching and learning humanely

TRANSITIONING TO ONLINE TEACHING DURING COVID-19: Google doc, Kisha Tracy, Fitchburg State U, MA, (USA)

”Putting our language courses online: a resources round-up (and work in progress)” (Stacey Margarita Johnson, Vanderbilt U, USA) NB USA-specific, not CEFR-/DELF-compliant, more useful for faculty teaching smaller classes and/or in smaller universities: but adding it to the list as its guidance is translatable.

(1d) UBC & CANVAS LINKS

For colleagues whose institutions use Canvas, and for UBC colleagues who don’t necessarily usually use Canvas—our official institutional “Learning Management System™️“—but are looking for quick set-up.

(2) TWITTER: FRIDAY 6 MARCH 2020 ONWARDS

I happen to learn through reading and making, and in all fields—teaching a modern language too—I’m still fundamentally a medievalist. So my preferences here tend towards narratives, commentary, exempla, and practical models by master artists (there are people here who’ve been working in open online education for decades) from whom apprentices like me can learn.

Some Twitter hashtags:

EPILOGUE

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