The world of online teaching pushed many students and teachers outside of their comfort zone. As a result, online college educators often overcompensate by exerting control. They give more assignments, reading materials, tools, etc.
However, Jessica Roisen, a Philosophy professor at St. Ambrose University, believes in doing less for students to have the space to engage with one another and the learning process. Here are some of the takeaways that she shared.
Adopt a flipped classroom to cut back on instruction.
Students can quickly feel overwhelmed when professors up their lecturing time to cover all pertinent details of the subject. So, Roisen flipped the classroom to prevent this from happening. She lets her students watch lectures on their own time. Then, they do the discussion and other activities during class time.
Create more room for community instead of taking control
Many online teachers seek control of their learning community. However, Roisen believes that letting go will boost camaraderie among students. That includes discussions and chatting in class.
Talk less and show more.
Too much lecturing can rid class participation and collaboration. So, Roisen recommends dialing down the time educators spend on teaching concepts. Instead, she suggests letting the students explore on their own. Roisen found giving a short lecture, sharing a video to show the content from a different angle, and doing a learning activity as a winning formula.
During exam season, let the students take the lead.
Roisen always offers optional group exams to her students. She realized that setting the stage with community-building practices impacts how the students choose to take their final exam. Learners often find exam time to be stressful. With Roisen’s collaborative assessments, the students realize that they are in the same camp.
Roisen removed exam restrictions and allowed her students to access everything they need. Then, she also told them to take as much time as they want. According to her, there is no better way of checking students’ understanding of the subject than seeing that they can explain it to someone else.