Connect with your Students
Teaching remotely makes it harder to stay in touch with your students. Not only do you lose the opportunity to connect with them, but it can also make it more intimidating for them to ask questions, thus hindering their progress. It is important to be aware of this when teaching remotely.
Inform your students, and manage expectations
Make sure your students are well informed about what is expected of them, what they can expect from you, and where they can go for support and tips.
What you expect from your students
Be clear about what you expect of your students.
- Share the Code of Conduct Remote Teaching with your students, for example in the syllabus.
- Avoid miscommunication by being as clear as possible in descriptions of tasks, and preparatory tasks. For tips, see the checklist below.
- Before class, and at the beginning of each lesson, share what kind of participation you expect from your students, and how and when they can ask questions.
- Consider adding a moderator to your class to ensure the best possible communication. You can have a look at the Add a class moderator page on this website
What students can expect from you
Be clear about what students can expect from you so they know where they stand.
- Communication plan
Work on a communication plan and share it with them. When will you be available for questions? How can they reach you? If you don't have a communication plan yet, let them know when they can expect it and share any intermediate versions.
- Be open about assessment criteria
Be clear about how you will assess them, and how you will value their participation. Explain this as concrete as possible and if possible share self-assessment forms.
- Manage communication expectations
Let them know when they can expect grades and responses from you. If you, for example, don't have much time to answer questions via email, it can be useful to schedule a set time for this weekly, and share with your students when they can expect a response based on that. You can also hold a weekly online office hour for your students.
- Write a clear syllabus
Share a clear syllabus, follow it, and remind students so they know that the syllabus is your promise to them and know what to expect. If, due to circumstances, you have not yet fully completed a syllabus yet, let them know and decide to share the necessary weekly information, for example, 2 weeks in advance at a fixed time. Share it if things change in your curriculum.
- Communicate didactic methods and choices
You may share the didactic methods behind your lesson plan so that students can apply them in their self-study. This way, they will also learn the didactic strengths of your curriculum and will be able to better assess which parts of it they can use themselves, and how they can participate in the class.
Checklist Clear Task Description
- Clear description and scope of the task itself
- Clear text about what's not within the scope
- The learning objective behind the assignment
- If possible, a description of how you expect them to perform the task
- Assessment criteria of the task (part of evaluation form/grading rubric, if any)
- Explain when you consider a task to be 'accomplished', what criteria it must meet
- Be clear about the deadline(s)
- Be clear about how and where they should hand in the assignment
- If possible, give students the opportunity to have a task checked by you or an assistant in advance so that they know that they meet the criteria, before they will be handing it in and the task will be checked for content.
Make sure students know where to go for support
In addition to technical support, tips for successful distance learning, and professional support, it is important that students also know where they can go for other forms of support. For example, in terms of accessibility, but also psychological help. So be sure to be clear about where they can find this support.
- Technical support.
For technical support, students can consult the Facilities, Services, and IT page on the university website.
- Tips for remote learning.
For tips on remote learning, students can consult the Tips page on the university website. The Centre for Innovation also shared a practical page, Top tips for Remote Learning, and a YouTube video called 'Study Tips to Succeed as an Online Student' with an explanation.
- Other support such as psychological help.
For other forms of guidance when for example students feel stressed, anxious, or isolated due to the situation they can contact the support listed in the Support and Guidance section of the FAQ page on the university website.
- Subject-specific support.
For subject-specific support, it is important to make a good plan in terms of Q&A sessions, possible tutoring, and if necessary set up peer-guidance within the classroom.