The Movement to an Online Teaching Experience
In the spring of 2020 when the pandemic began, there was an abrupt and immediate shift to online teaching. Prof. Gali felt that she, like many others, had not been prepared and that many of the methods that she used during that semester were inadequate for online teaching. As a result, Dr. Gali dove into online teaching techniques to find a more effective way to teach. She wanted to engage her students in the learning process whether they were online or learning through Hyflex teaching. Dr. Gali researched online course structure, learned how to write effective questions and tests in a Hyflex or Online environment, found new activities that could be completed in the online classroom, and learned about how to get students engaged in these environments. Prof. Gali wanted able to gauge how much the students were learning and what they were falling behind on. That way, she could go over it in class and prevent students from falling behind despite the learning situation.
New Techniques and Technologies
One of the ways that Dr. Gali accomplished this goal was by using Flip Grid. Flip Grid is a social, video-based classroom that Prof. Gali utilized for her teaching. In the program, the students record themselves answering a question for a prompt and post it, and then students can reply to their classmates in video form. Dr. Gali reported that the students have really enjoyed it because they like being able to do something more face-to-face with their classmates rather than type to each other through a discussion.
As well as this, Dr. Gali started using a program called Jamboards, which is a program that is offered by Google that allows you to work as a group at the same time on a single brainstorming board. You can add text, images, post-it notes, and whatever else you want to add to be able to collaborate together. She uses Jamboard to interact with students during the class, and as a great side effect, it allows her to create these slides of notes on a topic that they have all contributed to and can look back on later. It has been especially helpful in a hybrid classroom because the program updates in real-time, so both the students in the class and online can be working together and contributing in the same environment. There is also a laser pointer, so Prof. Gali can point out what they are talking about and communicate it easily to the rest of the class.
The last main area that Dr. Gali focused on improving after this shift was her quizzes. She wanted her quizzes to be more engaging and unique for the students. Instead of using quizzes as a rigid set of questions and answers, she wanted them to be able to share and apply what they had learned from the readings, videos, or audio from the section. So instead, she had them submit feedback using a format called “SPUNKI”. S stands for something that surprised them, P was something that was puzzling, U was something that they understood after the reading, N was something that was new information, K was something that they already knew, and I was something that they found interesting. This format helped the students to engage and identify with what they were learning in class and during their own study time.