With the ongoing Corona crisis, universities are closed and in-person classes are/were rapidly transitioning to online courses with only little time for preparation for instructors. Preparing online classes usually takes lots of effort and time, which is why we should probably all just release ourselves from too high expectation. Motivated by the ongoing discussion on Twitter about the challenges of online teaching and inspired by the support among the hydrology faculty members, we gathered and present here some resources and we would like to invite the community to use the comment section below to add more information.
You might also want to have a look at the extensive resources for online education provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI).
There are different options available for presentations during synchronous classes, ranging from relatively simple tools (like Skype, Jitsi Meet, Google Hangouts), where students can see you and your optionally shared screen, to more complex tools like Moodle, Blackboard, Zoom, Voicethread, Google Classroom or Canvas. It is well known that students will learn more when they are actively engaged in the lesson. However, discussion boards (or “forums“) only allow limited interaction between students and some instructors find creative ways to motivate students to engage in the online classroom:
So this happened. To encourage my @WUR students to engage in our virtual classroom I promised to lecture as a banana if we got 20 good comments or questions. And so they did. And so I did. #OnlineTeaching #AcademicChatter #trynewthings @wyoungacademy pic.twitter.com/QJpHPrmydB
— Jessica Duncan (@foodgovernance) March 16, 2020
Therefore, other options provide tools such as breakout rooms for discussion among smaller groups of students or commenting tools via written text, voice or videos are potential alternatives. There are further options to use quizzes and keep track of grades. With the video editor Camtasia, one can include quizzes in the uploaded presentation to ensure that students stay engaged also during asynchronous classes. Some suggestions on how to prepare online exams and quizzes were presented here.
Here is an example for a webinar on “Zoom for Education”:
I attended a "Zoom for Education" webinar, which they recorded and posted here (& gave permission to share). For those doing the online class transition & planning to use Zoom, it was a good use of 45 minutes for quick overview of features:https://t.co/eVWB8u8MdK
— Erika Wise (@WiseClimate) March 13, 2020
One way to incentivise interaction within an online class could be a Padlet page, where students and instructors can post text, videos and it could be used for brainstorming or introduction rounds. Similarly, one can chat and share material via Slack, which provides various tools for an online classroom. A German option is the “Lerntagebuch” (a learning log), which enables students to reflect on the classes, answer questions and receive feedback continuously throughout the semester.
There will be many more platforms providing similar tools for online teaching and you would need to test and see, which works best for you and if there are licenses and support available at your university.
Find advice here from international educators who are on prolonged online learning due to school closures ranging from pedagogical to technical aspects.
— Dana S Watts (@teachwatts) March 11, 2020
While the content of the hydrology classes might not differ that much between in-person and online classes, the way of teaching will probably be different. We present some ideas and examples here to get inspired for your own class preparation.
Tutorials of Sustainable Design of Water Resources Systems – 2019 by Alberto Montanari including videos of his lectures.
On Ricardo Rigon’s abouthydrology blog, you can find various resources for teaching hydrology, with for example a class on Hydrological Modeling, for which the materials were uploaded on this OSF page.
Lots of material for hydrology students was also provided by Anne Jefferson on their blog, where you can search for various topics. She also provided several examples in this thread:
Moving your hydrology class online? I'm here to help. I'm about to tweet out links to blog posts I've written explicitly aimed at my watershed hydrology students. I'll add to this thread as I develop online content this semester.
(attn: @AGU_H3S @WardHydro @RiverChem et al) 1/n
— Dr. Anne Jefferson 🌧🏡 (@highlyanne) March 12, 2020
There are over 375 webinars online provided by the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands:
Looking for online content to fill the #COVID19 teaching gap?
The #UF Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands (@ufWetland) has 13 yrs of weekly seminars (n~375) about #Water, #Wetlands, and #Watersheds available online: https://t.co/r6HYjJYqTb#ecology #water #people #wildlife
— David Kaplan (@WatershedEcol) March 12, 2020
A great idea for online teaching was proposed by Adam Ward, initializing guest lectures for discussion on specific papers. Check out the over 25 replies on that Twitter feed with various topics offer by great scientists:
Did you instantly become an online instructor? Lets support one another. Have your class read a paper, then have the lead author Zoom in for discussion. I tried this w/ @waterbarnes and it was great! Reply to thread w/ suggested paper to read if you're in.
— Adam Ward (@WardHydro) March 11, 2020
In case you have a lot of coding planned for your class, rstudio.cloud seems to be a powerful tool for teaching remotely, as JP Gannon showed last AGU Fall Meeting:
Helping students troubleshoot code outside class can be super frustrating.https://t.co/J66yfrnxKp has been a game changer for this and other aspects of teaching intro R. Here's my poster about it from AGU this year in case it is useful! https://t.co/X05bTFV0a4 @rstudio
— JP Gannon (@jp_gannon) January 22, 2020
There is a lot of course material available here for Critical Zone Science.
— CriticalZoneOrg (@criticalzoneorg) February 23, 2020
For GIS courses,there is an example for video tutorials:
For those of you teaching Intro to #GIS courses in #ArcGIS Pro I have put my entire collections of video tutorials online in the event you have to transition to virtual teaching https://t.co/RNk9DpEI3T
— Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne (@jarlathond) March 13, 2020
Here is an example for class materials on soil science.
Help us build a comprehensive, collaborative hub for soil science educational resources! 🗃️📚 @vaughan_soil & I created a place to share teaching materials – lectures, assignments, videos, interactive websites & more. Contribute & share here: https://t.co/ceqwpffgb2 pic.twitter.com/o2KqgjteGP
— Yamina Pressler (@yaminapressler) March 13, 2020
However, despite all the technical possibilities, the interaction with the students will be different when transitioning to online teaching and some might soon start to miss that:
So I’m going to be honest and share the hardest thing about transitioning to online classes. I will miss my students. Don’t tell them. I really like them. They make me happy. It’s why I took my job. And now my favorite part of my job is gone. 😭
— Dr. Tricia Van Laar (@tvanlaarmicro) March 13, 2020
We hope that with some of these advice, the move towards online teaching will become less stressful…if not, hopefully this song on online teaching will cheer you up:
"I Will Survive," Coronavirus version for teachers/professors moving courses online.
Gepostet von Michael Bruening am Sonntag, 15. März 2020
This blog post was made possible due to the collaborative efforts by all EGU HS blog editors.