This week Steven and I met up for a virtual hallway chat with Dr. Sarah Hogarth Rossiter. Sarah shared with us what’s it like to be a contract instructor (on short notice) at Douglas College for Summer 2020. In addition, we chatted about some of her thoughts around the importance of critical thinking under COVID-19 times.
with hosts Lisa Smith (Sociology)& Steven Bishop (Learning Design)
With the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, the Summer of 2020 is profoundly different for Douglas College faculty, staff, and students. Winter 2020 ended abruptly with a move to on-line teaching for the remainder of the term. For folks teaching summer courses at Douglas College, for the first time ever, all course instruction will be on-line. Dare we say that the phrases, ‘I’m scrambling…’, ‘I’m freaking out…’, and ‘when will this be over’, have certainly become common enough! We are just beginning to realize the vast and far-reaching impacts of this virus on individuals and communities across the globe. Many members of our community are grappling, both directly and indirectly, with the fallout of this massive social upheaval.
For instructors there is an imminent and ongoing need for technological support; however, the nuts and bolts of navigating on-line teaching are not the central focus of this podcast. This podcast is about hearing from DC faculty, staff, and students, as they navigate through the on-line realm in these novel times.
We had many questions at the outset of this podcast: What was it like to move everything on-line within a week? What things did you try, but found didn’t work? How do you build a sense of connection and community when teaching in on-line spaces? How do you cultivate presence as an instructor when teaching on-line? How do you manage the complex patterns of inequality that continue to shape how students gain access to education? Are we aware of all the ways our students are impacted by COVID-19 (emotional, physical, and beyond)? What kinds of things do you consider when making choices about content delivery? What is it like to instruct from home? To learn from home? To work from home? What expertise can you share with us to help us understand the social changes that are unfolding? What are your hopes, fears, worries for this time?
Even though the questions are complex, the format is simple. Guests are invited for virtual hallway chats. We record the conversation and share with others. We chose the hallway chat model to replicate one of the benefits of the close quarters we inhabit as HSS Faculty. We have the privilege of ‘running into’ each other throughout the term. We find these conversations rich opportunities for learning about the work of our colleagues, trouble-shooting small issues, or even delving into deeper reflection. For each chat session we will post any additional reading materials that are mentioned in the recording.
We invite you to listen, share, and create with us as we explore the depths of our new digital humanity.
The first podcast is an interview with Joseph (Joey) Moore, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Douglas College. He has research interests in environmental sociology, urban sociology, and social movements.
Hallway Chat 1: Joseph Moore (Sociology)
Steven and I were pleased to welcome Dr. Joseph Moore, Sociology, for our first virtual hallway chat.
In this chat, Joey mentions Arlie Hothschild’s book, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work, first published in 1997.
Check out his co-edited collection, Sociology of Home: Belonging, Community, and Place in the Canadian Context
“What would you do if you suddenly had to deliver your face-to-face class online, and with minimal preparation time?” This was the question Michelle Jickling, Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer for Douglas College’s Training Group, and Steven Bishop, Douglas College Learning Designer, discussed in the first of a series of episodes exploring digital literacies.
We used Blackboard Collaborate online meeting software to model the solutions we were proposing, since we were both at different locations. Here are the topics, images, and links discussed during the session: Top Five Essentials for going from face-to-face course delivery to online delivery:
Organize and collate the (existing) essential deliverables into a logical pattern (e.g., navigation information, weekly content folders, and assessment descriptions).
Decide what kinds of communication are most practical (e.g., course messages, email, synchronous online meetings, and asynchronous discussion forums).
Work backwards from the (existing) means of assessment to develop the assessment tools, Grade Center, and communication of grades and feedback to students.
Set up the course for basic delivery (e.g., create content areas, folders, items; upload files).
Deploy Blackboard tools as appropriate for all of the above.
Student communications: synchronous meetings may be limited due to bandwidth, or access to reliable online services.
Means of assessment: other than proctored examination, Blackboard assessments would primarily be useful as open-book quizzes and formative assessments.
Instructional presence: an essential consideration not addressed in the list above.
Michelle Jickling, who is currently working as an Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer with the Training Group at Douglas College, and I sat down for a conversation about the essentials of helping subject-matter experts and instructors with course development. We specifically addressed some of the initial concerns with translating the expert’s knowledge to an online environment, such as the Blackboard LMS currently used by the College.
Our discussion touched on:
Starting from scratch: storyboarding, assessing learning needs, organizing existing content, reviewing the learning goals
Meeting desired outcomes vs. delivery of information
Scaffolding into advanced knowledge
Iterative processes and updating content
Synchronous and asynchronous modalities – how best to meet the student where they are
Modern educational and life challenges for students
Relevancy in course design and assessments
Balancing an expert’s knowledge with time constraints (the 80:20 rule)
A conversation with
Angela Heino, Learning Strategy and Quality Coordinator in Health Sciences, and
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) faculty at Douglas College.
is one of two instructors in the BSN program currently teaching N2215:
Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) course. This class
encourages reflection on various aspects of leadership and IPC while providing
students with the opportunity to engage in the lived experience of
interprofessional education (IPE) as well. In this course, students explore the
roles and responsibilities of team members to both patients/families as
well as to the other members of the health care team. This process draws on
various viewpoints and acknowledges the diverse knowledge and
skill-sharing required of a successfully integrated team. Students learn
strategies for facilitating interdependent collaboration, explore ways of understanding conflict
constructively, and how they as individuals can help to create a healthy
SWITCH event brings students together from different programs (BSN, Psychiatric
Nursing, and Disability and Community Studies) to work on an ethics-based case
study. Then the students converse on three different health related topics
selected because of their timely, and complex, nature such as: vaccination, the
legalization of cannabis, and medical assistance in dying. The students do a
“speed switch” and within this relatively brief time frame, each student
briefly shares their own views on the topics. The goal is that students learn
to appreciate distinct and diverse world views, build awareness of their own
assumptions and biases towards these topics, as well as exchange ideas in a
respectful and professional manner. This
unique event allows every voice at the table to be heard, and boosts the
collective intelligence of a team.
well-attended morning event looks and feels like a conference, and includes a
hot breakfast. After this term’s event, the students were able to provide
feedback through an online survey on how SWITCH benefited their learning and
how they plan to take what their learned forward into their practice.
also involved in the planning and organization of this Winter’s event included:
Jennifer Kane (BSN), Tracey McVey (PNUR) and Aaron Johannes (DACS).
Lisa Smith and Steven Bishop facilitated a workshop at Douglas College that opened up discussions about listening and encouraging student voice, examined Lisa’s process of developing a podcasting assignment in her Gender and Youth Cultures class, and provided some basic audio recording information. The workshop included:
Listening as practice (activity)
A case study of the development, implementation, and showcasing of a classroom podcast assignment
Examples of student and expert podcasts
Skills inventory (activity)
Technical overview of audio recording, editing, and producing
Live recording demo with Audacity software and Yeti microphone
Full group discussion of how to bring this approach into the class
ATS is currently running a new series of workshops in time for the summer term called “Express Yourself!” These workshops will provide you with an overview to the specific teaching method by faculty experts, plenty of Q&A, and some hands-on play time. Our goal is that you start seeding the possibilities for your own teaching, contemplating how these ideas will engage and motivate your students.
Here’s what’s on offer:
Presenting with purpose: This workshop will focus on heightening physical and vocal engagement in order to clarify your sound, meaning, and message. We will work from material provided by the group. Bring your own speeches, classroom presentations, or video scripts. We will also provide practice text. Bring your curiosity and come prepared to explore your expressive presence. Facilitator: Thrasso Petras, Theatre dept. April 30, 9:30am-12:30pm, N3260
Going visual: You will be guided through a series of fun drawing exercises designed to amplify your visual literacy. No previous drawing experience is required, only a willingness to make to make your marks! Facilitator: Jason Toal, SFU Teaching & Learning Centre. May 2, 9:30-11:00am, S0620
Thinking through the grid: Lightboard edition: You will discuss the comics grid as pedagogical heuristic using the technology of the lightboard. Topics will include the grid as database, timing system, and standing reserve. You will be asked to draw, but no particular drawing skill is required. Facilitators: Peter Wilkins, English dept. & Dwayne Thornhill, ATS. May 14, 9:00am-12:00pm, N3142 and N3272V
Tablets for teaching: Learn how to use a tablet to facilitate teaching. Brandy will demonstrate how she uses it inside the classroom to improve student interaction and make PowerPoints more engaging. She will also discuss making tutorial videos using a tablet, giving you her software recommendations. Facilitator: Brandy Dudas, Accounting dept. May 23, 2:00-3:00pm, S2801
Podcast! Encourage your students’ voices: Join us for an interactive workshop on designing podcast-based assignments. You will receive a mini-case, outlining process, design guidance for creating your podcast assignments, and technical information about podcasting. Facilitator: Lisa Smith, Sociology dept. June 4, 9:00am-12:00pm, S0620
In this final podcast of the series, Steven Bishop and Lisa Smith, sit down with Kelsey Huebchen, a Douglas College student who was enrolled in GSWS 2101 and completed a podcast as part of her course work. From an instructor perspective, Lisa discusses some of the benefits of exploring podcasting as a pedagogical and evaluative tool. Kelsey reflects on some of the differences between producing a podcast and writing a research paper.
Lisa recommends instructors keep in mind the following if considering podcasting as an assignment:
1) Introduce the idea early on in the course.
In my class, I discussed the podcast assignment in-depth on the first day of class and had printed copies of the assignment guideline. I took time to go through this with students to ensure that they understood that this was a part of the course and that they would have time to acquire the skills / knowledge required to complete this assignment.
2) Identify student skills and concerns early on.
In the second course of the semester, I had students work in groups to complete a questionnaire that identified concerns about the podcasting assignment, as well as any existing skills that they already had that would be helpful for this project (for example, do you know how to use the voice recorder on your phone). Following this, we conducted a “skills inventory” of the class as whole. This was really helpful for identifying the different skills that students already had, but also which students might be able to provide assistance to others.
3) Keep podcasting as a subtle, but constant theme throughout the course
Each week, we would listen to a podcast in class. This allowed us to use podcasts as a way to get further into topics we were reading about, but also allowed me to share different kinds of podcasts with students to demonstrate that there were different ways to approach this assignment. Students enjoyed discussing the subject matter in the podcasts, as well as the various elements of production.
4) Focus evaluation on the planning / organization / research for the podcast.
For this assignment, only a portion of the total grade was based on the actual finished product. Further, students were not graded on the technical quality of the podcast.
5) Establish a reasonable time limit for the final podcast product.
As an instructor, keep in mind that you will need to listen to ALL the podcasts. Be sure to consider how much time is reasonable for you to spend listening to podcasts at the end of term.
A meta-cognitive look at creating an audio-recording based assignment
Episode II – 8:19 minutes
After our initial meeting, Lisa Smith and I met for a second time with a more decided perspective on how to proceed with creating an audio-recording-based assignment for her Gender and Youth Cultures course. We are capturing the design process with these recordings and our hope is that other instructors and designers will benefit from our work when considering or creating similar assignments. One additional benefit we have noticed is the reflective nature of reviewing what we discussed while editing. Even if we weren’t going to share these recordings, it has been a valuable experience in understanding dialogue, the other person, and how we communicate ideas.
In a recent Teaching in Higher Ed podcast (#153), Douglas College instructor Brandy Dudas explains her use of pencasting and other ways of introducing videos into her classroom. She says it all started with students asking her to post videos online, enabling them to review difficult concepts repeatedly to ensure they really grasped the necessary learning. She even has her own YouTube channel called Accounting Videos with Brandy, which is clearly popular with her students.
Grab a coffee and your iPhone, then give this podcast a listen. It’s passionate educators like Brandy who are truly making a difference in students’ lives.