As we move into a period of uncertainty regarding the nature of our teaching during the Coronavirus outbreak the T and L team have been researching best practise should we have to deliver lessons remotely, online. Here is a summary of our findings and recommendations so far:
Key points from research literature on successful distance Teaching and Learning
Top 5 take away tips:
1. Keep learners active and engaged. Lecture-style delivery is not appropriate or effective.
2. Chunk learning to make it manageable and keep resources short
3. Communicate instructions very clearly
4. Give prompt feedback
5. Consider the use of ‘flipped learning’ and how to develop pupil independence
Main T and L differences between a remote and a physical classroom:
We should (and do) consider many of the following things anyway but they become even more critical in distance learning situations:
– Share learning objectives and expected outcomes with pupils for every lesson.
– Use ‘real time’ tasks combined with more ‘go away and think about it’ tasks than usual.
– Provide models for everything. Worked examples on every worksheet for instance.
– Plan for low-stakes continuous assessment to gather evidence of learning.
– Give the student more responsibility BUT help them develop the necessary skills, don’t expect them to know how to do things independently the first time.
– Make your expectations for engagement very clear and specific.
– Provide help sheets to promote pupil self-reliance (strategies and resources to help them ‘unstick’ themselves?)
Other points related to good practice in distance T and L:
– Try to encourage pupil collaboration wherever and however possible
– Allow for thinking time and typing time
– Choose the questions you ask carefully as the response will be slower. Plan them ahead of the lesson?
– Help students develop their independence and be patient
– Try to do as much as you would in the classroom and include a variety of tasks
– Technology is the tool and not the method
– Encourage engagement and participation, this enhances the impact of distance learning
– Literacy – have realistic expectations of how much pupils can read on a screen and how quickly
Recommended reading (now in the library):
– Boettcher and Conrad, The Online Teaching Survival Guide, 2016
– Johnson, Excellent Online Teaching, 2013
– Simonson, Smaldino and Zvaceck, Teaching and Learning at a Distance: Foundations of Distance Education, 2019