AFTER A SHORT PERIOD teaching remotely, I can feel seismic shifts under the foundation of third level teaching in Ireland. I believe it's only a matter of time that lecturers will be timetabled to deliver their core teaching hours electronically as well as in a classroom.
There are positive and negative outcomes from this change in workplace culture. Overnight, many of the industrial relations issues dissipate because as an experienced lecturer, I've proven that I can teach both on screen and in front of a traditional classroom. However, I know it takes much longer to create compelling online education environments and would expect to learn how to do it better before I start into the fall semester of 2020. I reckon I need to set up an effective framework using Microsoft Teams, Classroom Notebooks, and shared OneDrive folders. I'm taking guidance from pathfinders like James Corbett and Tracy Keogh.
It doesn’t take much for workplace culture to start to shift. In my period of emergency distance teaching, the rhythms of my workday have changed. My commute time is compressed. I have no more school runs. There are no casual meetings of staff members to brainstorm. I don't have a late afternoon scrum to finish work before heading home. There is no clear physical transition back to my personal life at the end of each day.
I'm looking ahead to the autumn semester, starting first with a calendar containing dates related to academic modules I teach. I've linked assessment dates directly into RoamResearch's calendar so I can see what is due and when the activities need to be graded. Roam offers bi-directional links between the taskings related to each academic assessment and a treasure trove of background material related to each assessment.
I'm also reflecting on how I tried to set up my academic material by looking at what I was saying and writing when starting previous fall semesters. Every time I begin this sort of self-reflection, I remember a conversation I had with Stephen Kinsella in 2011 when he told me his entire year was bundled inside an app, making it much easier to maintain contact with hundreds of business students in his classrooms.
The biggest challenge I have in the fall semester is bringing three new cohorts of students into my courses. I have never on-boarded a group of people remotely and I need some help with this process. If you've been on the receiving end of effective on-boarding, please share a link with me to the process so I might extract best practice about how to do remote on-boarding with my students in September.