Last month, we reflected on the transition from face-to-face instruction to online instruction for one of UMBC's largest introductory courses CHEM 101, with its instructors Drs. Sarah Bass and Tara Carpenter.
We discussed some recent articles that have been on our mind:
- The Washington Post, Cheating-detection companies made millions during the pandemic. Now students are fighting back. We understand that student privacy is incredibly important when using tools like Respondus Monitor, though we hope students and faculty consider the environment we all operate under with remote teaching and learning.
- Inside Higher Ed, Dealing with student distraction. Students are always around distractions and instead we can shift the conversation to focus on engagement. Based on a recent PIVOT survey, UMBC students would agree that the need for breaks during extended synchronous sessions can help with their engagement.
- The Guardian, Up to 50% of university students unhappy with online learning, (Australian) regulator finds. While some of the student concerns addressed in the article are not new, we talked about some of the universal challenges and how faculty and staff need to be flexible during uncertain times.
While rebuilding many components of the course, Sarah and Tara were deeply intentional about the costs associated with course materials. Recognizing that high costs presented challenges to access course materials, Sarah and Tara employed Open Educational Resources which substantially lowered the total cost of materials for their course.
Assessments play an integral role in this course. Before UMBC's physical campus closed due to COVID-19, CHEM 101 participated in a limited pilot using Akindi, a scantron alternative where instructors can use any standard printer to print bubble sheets and use any standard scanner to scan completed bubble sheets directly into Blackboard. Since then, Sarah and Tara have employed test pools, groups, and adaptive release in their Blackboard courses to promote academic integrity and to administer assessments without the need of a lockdown browser.
Our next GO Chat takes place on Friday, January 22: 2021 The Year of Open Ed. We welcome UMBC alum Dr. Karen Cangialosi as our guest, a Professor of Biology and Open Education Faculty Fellow at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Karen facilitates an Open pedagogy faculty learning community, and she is co-leader of KSC Open, a Domain of One’s Own campus project. We hope you will join us!
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As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options: