Keynote 3: Advancing Online Teaching: Creating Equity-Based Digital Learning Environments

Todd Zakrajsek (University of North Carolina, USA)

This past spring, as a result of the COVID-19 world pandemic, most of higher education moved swiftly to remote emergency teaching. In the midst of this shift, higher education uncovered massive inequities in how students learn. These inequities were always present, yet many faculty members were unaware of them. As we now begin to shift from emergency remote teaching to more purposefully designed online teaching, it is imperative that we do our best to create systems that are as equitable as possible for our students. In this keynote session, we will advance online learning through better understanding Universal Design for Learning, Design for Equity, and ways to facilitate and maintain human connections in online courses.

00:01:04 Noela Haughton: good day!
00:01:07 Alexandra Lehmann: Jippie, we’re in!
00:01:29 Petra Weiss: Thanks!
00:02:06 Maren Lickhardt: Cheers
00:08:04 Anne Tierney: Lovely to see you all!
00:08:35 Anne Tierney: I have sent an email to everyone letting them know the keynote has started, so hopefully we will get more people in soon.
00:09:28 Caren Weinberg: Thanks for letting us know Anne – the link had not been working!
00:10:42 Janina Tosic: Sorry Caren, there was a mix up of zoom links
00:11:13 Alexandra Lehmann: Thanks Anne, thanks Anne for checking it out for all of us. <3
00:11:21 Joanne Loh: Contract cheating cases have increased
00:11:22 Noela Haughton: Student access (bad home; lost jobs; etc.);
00:11:24 Alexandra Lehmann: Thanks Janina, thanks Anne…
00:11:25 Ashley Le Vin: trying to work full time with a small child as a co-worker
00:11:27 Janina Tosic: Personally: Internet at home is too slow to do Video conferencing. So I had to buy a new Smartphone get a new contract to have a hot spot
00:11:39 Petra Weiss: Starting a new teaching Job.
00:11:46 Caren Weinberg: Students not turning on their cameras – hard to teach to a gray screen
00:11:46 James Wilkinson: My challenge — trying to feel comfortable with all the details of Zoom, microphones, other tech stuff. Very distracting from content.
00:11:48 quick transition; equity issues; computer and technology issues
00:11:59 Elke Hemminger: home schooling kids while being ‚academically productive‘ and finding creative ways of teaching online in the living room
00:12:03 Andis: Setting up online assessments instead of in-class tests
00:12:03 Anne Tierney: colleagues knowing how to teach online or even know how online tools work
00:12:04 Alexandra Lehmann: decision for complete online Semester came in mid May
00:12:14 Anne Tierney: Exhaustion
00:12:15 Birgit Pitscheider: Switch to online teaching took more time to prepare – would have needed 24/7
00:12:22 Maren Lickhardt: Difficulties with the Administration of the University. No understanding from their side what are the real Problems. With the students, the teaching and all the rest everything was okay
00:12:29 Alexandra Lehmann: Zoom officially at University at the end of May
00:12:32 Petra Weiss: Too many tools.
00:12:38 training for faculty
00:12:46 Caren Weinberg: zoom is not an education platform!!! it is conferencing platform! nice we had it – but not fit for purpose!
00:12:58 Alexandra Lehmann: very motivated students
00:13:46 Alexandra Lehmann: educational platforms didn’t work; zoom is the only Programme working consistenly
00:13:48 Noela Haughton: supporting students’ mental health – I am not a shrink
00:14:13 Anne Tierney: And our mental health, and our colleagues
00:14:18 Caren Weinberg: @Noela! soooo agree!
00:14:42 non-alignment of faculty styles of communication with students has yet to hit us.
00:18:59 Noela Haughton: I think culture and socialization is a HUGE part of higher education. Do we need fo re-visit these ideas – culture and socialization – when we talk about what it means to be an alum?
00:20:16 Alexandra Lehmann: Yeah, but we didn’t construct online Courses. We didn’t have the time to think About Quality…
00:21:12 Ashley Le Vin: a thought that has been repeated in our school is that we are not creating online courses – as this would take more than 2 months to do, but rather we are creating a course with remote/distance learning that we will try to incorporate good methodology of online teaching to, but it will not be an ‘online course’ as such
00:22:11 Noela Haughton: We are focused on the course. but again, a course – courses – are only one part of the system. I think what is also needed is s systems view.
00:24:18 Susan Jamieson: Picking up on earlier pt: it took me (& colleagues) three years to roll out 12 taught course/options and the dissertation course for a P/T online masters programme. I think some colleagues now wonder why it took me so long!
00:24:58 Susan Jamieson: My PGT students – some are new parents and experiencing sleepless nights!
00:25:05 Noela Haughton: $$$ and what it affords. this reaches back into their homes and prior schooling
00:25:08 Birgit Pitscheider: Pre-knowlege students have when they come to uni
00:25:14 Ashley Le Vin: real problems for students who have unstable home lives where there is not enough access to a computer to do online work or peace to study
00:25:16 Anne Tierney: language
00:25:24 Anne Tierney: carers
00:25:27 Ashley Le Vin: many are studying in bedrooms shared with young siblings
00:25:50 Anne Tierney: 1st generation
00:26:04 Michael Waltemathe: I am a bit shocked by the reality you are describing. For my students it is mostly ‘I have to work’ which sets them back in comparison to students who don’t need to work.
00:26:11 Elizabeth Black: need to use public transport
00:26:15 Michael Waltemathe: Children are a factor, too
00:26:20 Noela Haughton: social capital; we have to remember higher ed was never designed for everyone. we are not retrofitting
00:26:22 Ashley Le Vin: many have little access to wifi
00:27:02 Michael Waltemathe: Noeal, agree. Especially academic ‘heritage’ is a factor
00:27:09 Elizabeth Black: I have students who access a computer at work and lost access when workplaces shut
00:27:25 James Wilkinson: Things may be worse in the USA, with its very porous safety net means students may well be hungry, but other inequities are more broadly present.
00:28:03 Noela Haughton: all comes back to money – $$$; the haves and the have-nots
00:28:30 Ashley Le Vin: lockdown could also cause fuel poverty where students need to study at home and have heating on and electricity used more than usual
00:29:56 Anne Tierney: Yes Ashley my gas and electric direct debit went up because of lockdown. Students hit also.
00:30:35 Ashley Le Vin: yes me too Anne, rubbish for us, but could be a real issue for students
00:31:41 Susan Jamieson: Strollers
00:31:44 Birgit Pitscheider: elderly
00:31:47 Michael Waltemathe: Parents with strollers
00:31:50 Caren Weinberg: mothers – children
00:31:54 James Wilkinson: Someone with arthritic hips, such as myself.
00:31:55 Caren Weinberg: elderl
00:31:58 Ashley Le Vin: blind people
00:31:59 Susan Jamieson: Elderly
00:32:03 Joanne Loh: Cyclist
00:32:09 Noela Haughton: easier in the winter
00:33:09 Noela Haughton: just not tripping
00:34:15 Alexandra Lehmann: helpful now that you don’t want to tocuh dorrs to open them 😉
00:35:47 Alexandra Lehmann: Problem: Things that make lives of People with Hearing disabilities easier (e.g. carpets in classrooms) are more difficult for People in whell chairs…
00:38:16 Roxana Reichman: awful reasons
00:39:52 Petra Weiss: Good idea with the Options for exams.
00:47:07 David Nicol: Active learning can mean a range of different things!
00:47:39 Petra Weiss: I like the idea of multiple means of….
00:48:14 Alexandra Lehmann: I had them work on wikis in small Groups. worked quite well!
00:48:40 Noela Haughton: make use of teams and peer reviews
00:48:45 Roxana Reichman: They can work on a clearly defined topic in small groups
00:48:47 Anne Tierney: working on projects
00:48:52 Alexandra Lehmann: wikis were then published for the whole Group. students were happy 😉
00:48:53 Anne Tierney: leading sections of seminars
00:49:00 Petra Weiss: virtual coffee break
00:49:02 Anne Tierney: sharing blogs
00:49:14 Anne Tierney: Virtual coffee break! Yes
00:49:23 Susan Jamieson: Good intro activities/ice-breakers
00:49:35 Janina Tosic: I used WhatsApp and had 110 students in the Group. Asked them to introduce themselves with 3 #. We all wrote about personal stuff too. Students supported each other in that Group with their struggles and questions. I helped as my time allowed (half-time Position)
00:50:19 Susan Jamieson: using students’ names when facilitating asynchronous discussions, to reinforce what different people are syaing
00:51:28 Noela Haughton: i bring snacks to my f2f and students begin to take turns. made such a difference – cant underestimate the symbolism
00:52:00 Noela Haughton: bias has been in the news lately. its a HUGE issue
00:52:26 Ashley Le Vin: Biscuits are always a great ice-breaker Noela – we do a lot of fieldwork and always have some in my bag!
00:53:32 Caren Weinberg: its on the test
00:53:34 Janina Tosic: Need it for the exam!
00:55:02 Caren Weinberg: support services need to change… new normal!
00:56:19 Petra Weiss: Also support for teaching stuff on digital teaching, often too basic…
00:57:43 Caren Weinberg: well done!!
00:57:46 Janina Tosic: Todd the presentation wizzard 🙂
00:57:52 Caren Weinberg: we were well behaved students with mics off!
00:58:03 Noela Haughton: yeah!
00:59:33 Anne Tierney: Nice picture of Padua
01:00:38 Noela Haughton: multiple types of assignments
01:03:01 Anne Tierney: I agree. I found that being an adviser of studies (personal tutor) was one of the best ways to challenge my biases.
01:03:21 Alexandra Lehmann: I tried to Keep the students updated on all organisational Information I got about this Semester, as soon as I got the Information. So I sort of tried to see them as Partners in this, not working on this hierachy-teacher-student-business.
01:04:07 Alexandra Lehmann: (I usually don’t work at this hierachy-teacher-student-business anyway, but it was even more important this term.)
01:05:41 Janina Tosic: I have a first Semester Science class and I use very easy language so everyone understands what I say. I explain a lot of “common” examples. e.g. I use Sports examples a lot in my physics class and I make sure to Show that Sport and then go through the physics of it. Not all students know how Ski jumping works or Speer throwing…
01:06:09 Roxana Reichman: Sometimes when I ask students to think of a research question, some of them say: “Give me a research question and I will conduct the study”. It doesn’t work, of course. They whole idea is for them to use their brains.
01:07:36 Petra Weiss: May be they could think about what is a good and what is a not so good research Question.
01:07:38 Alexandra Lehmann: dont have this button
01:07:44 Anne Tierney: I actually have a cowbell for my class
01:07:53 Noela Haughton: no clue
01:08:15 Noela Haughton: who?
01:08:29 Petra Weiss: The Buttons are in the Teilnehmerliste.
01:08:30 Susan Jamieson: Don’t have this button either 🙁
01:08:42 Noela Haughton: does everyone know what a cw bell is?
01:08:52 Caren Weinberg: I might have to go get a cowbell – I wonder if they are on amazon… 🙂
01:08:56 Alexandra Lehmann: my Version of zoom doesnt allow me to see a Teilnehmerliste
01:08:58 Roxana Reichman: I don’t know what button you mentioned
01:10:14 Noela Haughton: limit uses of tests – lower level learning
01:10:47 Alexandra Lehmann: not in my Version of zoom, either 😉
01:11:00 Janina Tosic: Coffee don’t work 🙁
01:11:49 Caren Weinberg: I teach entrepreneurship – mistakes are required!!!
01:11:58 David Nicol: Yes that is a good point – doing something generates feedback about the gap in your understanding which you can then build on
01:12:32 David Nicol: After you try something you will be more receptive to examples
01:13:08 Caren Weinberg: you can use the analogy – investors usually only invest in founders who have failed already at least once!
01:13:11 David Nicol: Maybe you should call it ‘failure”
01:13:23 David Nicol: Call it learning
01:13:45 David Nicol: Not call it failure I meant
01:14:15 David Nicol: Linke th
01:14:42 David Nicol: Link the learning to the marks – alignment. Why is this not possible?
01:15:18 Caren Weinberg: if they don’t learn it in school – then failure/mistakes in the workplace stump them
01:15:29 Alexandra Lehmann: so ist about us, trying to bend the rules as much as possible…
01:16:30 Anne Tierney: I like the example from Harper Adams college, where they tell the students the finals questions during their first week and then tell them that everything they do on the course will contribute to answering those finals questions, so they have to continually reference the questions and figure out how it fits into the jigsaw.
01:17:16 Anne Tierney: We have a huge tension where we say it’s ok to fail but give them exams every 13 weeks.
01:17:25 Alexandra Lehmann: reward the worst “failure” because theres the most learning 😉
01:18:51 Janina Tosic: @Anne: that is a very cool thing to do!
01:19:30 David Nicol: If you tell them at the beginning that everyone can pass the exams if they put in the work and that we will all work together to ensure that this happens and that we learn along the way.
01:20:12 Alexandra Lehmann: at some universities they dont want you to write too much at the essays as for the students not to go against the grading… 🙁
01:21:52 Petra Weiss: That’s sometimes reality… unfortunately; even Feedback is not always “allowed”…
01:22:08 Susan Jamieson: Anne – that is similar to the Progress test that they (used to?) use at Maastricht Medical School?
01:22:16 Caren Weinberg: THANK YOU! Great energy – great talk!
01:22:44 Anne Tierney: Susan – I did not know that. I think it’s an interesting idea
01:23:20 Susan Jamieson: They sit (or used to sit?) the same exam every year, if memory serves.
01:24:05 Alexandra Lehmann: thanks and bye, see you!

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