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Remote Teaching: Small Changes that Make a Big Difference for Students

Learn suggestions to better assist students during these challenging times.

Several of the colleges at #NDSU have been collecting student feedback on the transition to online-only classes, with the goal of identifying small changes that could make a big difference for our students.

Unsurprisingly, students report being quite overwhelmed. But they also provided excellent suggestions for how we can help, without asking too much more of instructors right now.

Dr. Carrie Anne Platt, associate director in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences encourages you to consider implementing the strategies that might work for you.

One suggestion (and some accompanying tips) will be posted each day for the next several days. Today, we begin with the most frequently recommended suggestion.

Suggestion #1:
Email a “To-Do” List of Tasks on Mondays, include everything students need to do that week.

Students reported that they are struggling to keep track of all of the individual things they need to do for all of their classes, as well as when those tasks need to be done. It doesn’t seem like too much when you think about the one class you have them in, but multiplying that amount by 4 to 6 classes – and adding the stress of a pandemic on top – you can see how easy it is to forget things right now.

Sending students a list of learning tasks at the start of the week accomplishes a few different things:
• Helps them keep track of what needs to be done and when.
• Helps you feel more confident that you’ve posted everything needed for the week.
• Reduces the number of missing assignments. (boosting grades and decreasing your need to follow-up individually)
• Reduces overwhelm by modeling how we can take things one week at a time.

Below you’ll find an example of what this “To-Do” list could look like, shared by a Veterinary Sciences GTA that I work with on teaching. Note: She teaches a lab section, so there are no readings in the list. I will be adding readings to the list I send my class.

Sample to-do list

Here is the “to-do” list for VETS 455 this week:
1.) Finish & Submit Solutions/Dilutions Homework via Blackboard Link
2.) Watch Yuja recording on April 8th
3.) Complete and submit the practice problems via Discussion Board by April 8th at 11:59 P.M.
4.) Complete Reconstitutions Homework - submit via Blackboard by April 15 @ 11 A.M.

*All of these deadlines are also found on your updated schedule (on Blackboard)*
Have a great week!
– Kelsey


** Tips and suggestions provided by Dr. Carrie Anne Platt, associate director College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

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