Questions on Online Teaching and Instructional Technology

Pedagogy Questions

What are some of the differences between online teaching and in-person teaching?

There are key differences between online and in-person courses and this centres around synchronous or asynchronous delivery. In-person courses are synchronous and students attend courses at a certain time; this is not always true of online delivery courses. Another key difference is there is more flexibility in terms of modality of assessment and content delivery and design in online courses, meaning that you can implement and supplement with multimodal engagement pieces more readily in online delivery. In addition, communication aspects are different in online courses which means that it is important to have clearly defined channels to communicate with students (using Quercus or email for example).

What are some practices in relation to synchronous and asynchronous delivery?

A balance between synchronous and asynchronous is often a more inclusive and accessible design for online delivery courses. Asynchronous material can be delivered in small 6-10 minute lecturettes (research shows this is the ideal length for engagement with recorded material), or other types of module material, resources, and reflective questions, that can be supplemented during synchronous meetings. 

What are some ways that I can create community in my online course?

This resource from Faculty Focus highlights strategies for community building

What are some examples of formative and summative assessments and activities that I can use in online teaching? 

Which assessment and activity you decide will be dependent on your course learning outcomes. Here are some examples:

1. Student Engagement: Immediate response in lecture, polls & surveys using instructional tech (Zoom polls, quizzes in Quercus)

2. Active Learning: Participatory questions in lecture, case studies, student-generated test questions, student-curated resources

3. Collaborative Learning: Breakout groups, wikis, blogs, podcasts, video demos, projects

4. Summative: Portfolios, tests, case studies, exams (oral or written with exam wrappers)

How do I design meaningful quizzes?

Quizzes often are used for quick comprehension checks or for participation or engagement during synchronous course delivery. You can make your quizzes be more meaningful in design if they work as both a pre and post check for knowledge. You can also add a meaningful component to a quiz by asking students to apply concepts in short answers as opposed to only using multiple-choice quizzes.

Are there any tips for icebreakers/community building exercises that work particularly well online?

This resource from the University of Wisconsin, lists a few icebreaker suggestions for online delivery.

Can you suggest a resource to help support scaffolding my assessments?

This resource speaks to some concepts to consider when scaffolding assessments and activities in your course.

What are different forms of feedback that we can provide? What works best- audio comments/video recordings/written feedback?

Multimodal feedback can work well during the semester. You may choose to have textual feedback and maybe have audio or video feedback for another assessment. As long as you are clear as to how that feedback will be delivered the students know what to expect.


Instructional Technology Questions

How do I create a poll in Zoom?

This link outlines how to create a poll in Zoom

How do I create groups for discussion and engagement for online delivery?

Groups can be created as breakout rooms in Zoom

What resources can support students with questions related to online instruction?

This resource by the UTM Library provides guidance for students. You can post a link to it in your Quercus shell.

What are the minimum recommended technical requirements for students?

This page, from the Office of the Vice-Provost Students, outlines technical requirements.