On August 6, 2020, Beth Bensen (Reynolds Community College) and Derek Mueller (Virginia Tech) led participants in a showcase of best practices in online writing instruction. Forty-four (44) participants from 15 colleges, universities, and high schools (Dual Enrollment) participated in the workshop to discuss course design, learning management systems (Canvas), and other challenges and opportunities common for teaching and learning remotely.
Recurring themes across the workshop included the importance of establishing open lines of communication between instructors and students in online settings. Many participants noted various methods of pedagogical delivery beyond email (such as video and interactive presentations) to help students engage with course material. Establishing a consistent schedule for when work would both be available and assignments were due was noted as an important methods for building a “course routine” for students. For example, always making course content available on a Friday (so that early birds have an extra weekend) and then always making work due the following Sunday at the same time each week allows students to more easily to adapt the class to their schedule. The full slideshow can be accessed here.
The last 25 minutes of the workshop was dedicated to breakout rooms in which participants discussed concerns they had for the upcoming semester and strategies for adapting to them.
Thank you to all of you who attended and participated! Great representation from schools across Virginia!