Tips on Teaching

A Tip, An Article, and a Tool

by Sandy Gambill, Sr. Instructional Developer, Reinert Center

As we’re in the downstretch of a fall semester like no other, we want to offer you a few resources that you might find useful as you plan for spring.

The Tip: Are you feeling anxious and overwhelmed from teaching in a situation where you have students in the classroom and students coming in remotely on Zoom? Or do you have the issue of being in a  classroom that doesn’t allow you to project a PowerPoint and display Zoom at the same time?

Rather than trying to do all things at once, consider creating set points where you take a moment to check in on the students in Zoom. Build a reminder slide for yourself into your PowerPoint presentation. Creating a space to “check for understanding” will allow you to focus your attention on one thing at a time, and give all students a minute to process. 

The Article: “Encouraging Student Engagement During Synchronous Meetings: Preventing MidTerm Drop Off.” [link]  If you’re teaching remotely using Zoom or if in the scenario above, you have a blended class, you may be experiencing issues related to engagement.  Students might not come back from break out room activities, or they may be present, but not interacting with you and other students.  This article from Faculty Focus outlines six scenarios around engagement in synchronous classes and presents some practical strategies to help re-engage students.

Faculty Focus is a free newsletter that has been featuring several very useful faculty-written articles on teaching during Covid.  You can sign up to have the newsletter delivered in your email. [link]

The Tool: After nine months of Zoom meetings, we’re all a bit paranoid about our appearance and our background.Before you spend a fortune on professional lighting tools,  you might want to put a lamp or even a ring light (check on Amazon for that) on your Christmas list. This Wirecutter video gives some great advice on how to brighten up your Zoom appearance without spending a fortune. [link]