We are halfway through the student workshops on imagining the distance university of the future. We still have 6 more workshops in French and 6 in German to go, but there are already a few easy things teachers can implement this September to help our students be successful. Most require little effort.
- Make your resources available online as soon as possible. Many of our students use the summer holidays to do the readings for the semester.
- Make sure the resources are shared as real PDF documents and not as photocopies (you can’t highlight photocopies). This came up in many of the groups we talked to.
- During online classes, use breakout rooms and given students time to introduce themselves and socialize a little. This is a good way to for them meet other students.
- Leave your Zoom room open at the end of the class so that students can continue talking. Or stay a little at the end of the class, some students may have questions. Some assistants have created a permanent Zoom room students can use anytime to meet up for group work, for example. This was much appreciated.
- A clearly structured course with clear learning objectives, due dates and required readings makes their life easier.
- Take time to introduce yourselves, what you do in life, your research and professional life. Students want to get to know you better and learn about what it is like to be a professional in their area of studies.
- Share previous exams, or even better, offer a mock exam. This helps students know what your expectations are and is good practice for the big day.