Mapping Learning Outcomes to Technology Session Summary

These sessions helped us identify and discuss the challenges of meeting Learning Outcomes in an online environment.

Some of the questions discussed are:

How do I move assessments online while keeping academic integrity?

Conducting assessments while maintaining academic integrity and meeting program requirements can be a great challenge in a remote environment. Major concerns were brought up with Tests and Labs.
Quercus Quizzes: One of the methods discussed to conduct online assessments is through Quercus Quizzes. There are built in functionalities to perform quiz randomization through Question Groups and Question Banks. Also, Quercus Quizzes link directly to their Gradebook which makes it very convenient in terms of keeping track of student grades. You can check out our guide on which assessment tool fits best for you to see more potential options.
Labs: One of the most noticeable concerns of online learning is the ability to perform labs that require in-person equipment. Throughout these sessions, some potential solutions involved making use of lab simulation software. For example, in circuit analysis courses, the use of SPICE-based software was discussed. Students could perform the lab using the simulation software. Afterwards, the students could complete a Quercus Quiz in order to ensure they met the learning outcomes of the lab. Please visit our Virtual Labs design guide to learn about potential strategies that you could implement when converting your labs to an online environment
Of course, there are many other types of assessments. Please see our how to design alternative assessment guide to learn how to adapt some of them to a remote setting. 

How do I build a community for students?

One of the biggest challenges in a remote environment is creating a sense of community for the students. A sense of community is important to promote students to feel invested and engaged in the course. This can play a key role in the students meeting the learning outcomes of a course. Some methods to do so involves creating Discussions and meaningful synchronous activities.

Discussions: Quercus Discussions is a great tool to create and foster online discussion among students and teaching team. Discussions create a sense of community and allow the students to feel supported when they have questions about course material. This is especially important in a remote environment where students are unable to make peer-to-peer connections as they might have when attending in-person lectures.
Meaningful Synchronous Activities: Picking the right course modality is a very crucial part of the online course design process. If you conclude synchronous activities are a right fit for your course, you might consider adding discussion periods. For example, if you perform synchronous activities through Bb collaborate, you will be able to create break out rooms (much like during our live Learning Outcomes session). In these rooms students will be able to interact with each other and participate in the learning experience while also building connections with other students in the course.
groups in Bb collab picture
enlightenedTip: When creating these break out groups, try to keep groups very small. The larger the group size, the less responsibility each individual in the group feels to participate in the discussion. For example, in a group of 2 students, both students will feel full responsibility to respond to each other. However in a larger group, lets say of 5, if one student asks a question, the 4 other students might not feel the responsibility to respond as they might think there are other people in the group that can respond. This could lead to a dull discussion period.

How do I self-record content while maintaining quality of lecture?

Conducting effective lectures is a fundamental aspect of allowing students to meet the expected learning outcomes in a course. Asynchronous lectures are the feasible reality for many. 
Check out our guide on Self-Recording content. You may also consider participating in our remote editing process where we provide editing services for your self-captured video content.

Ok, feel overwhelmed?

Keep in mind this session was just meant to start getting you thinking about potential learning outcome challenges in your course in a remote environment. If you would like to learn more about how to meet your teaching needs please feel free to book a consultation with the Edtech staff. You can also email us at fase.edtech@utoronto.ca

This is a challenging time to figure out how to structure your course and what elements to use (or not use). Dont know where to get started? Check out our Online Course Design guide to help you get started.

You may also want to consider attending some of our Lessons Learned Webinars where some of your colleagues share their experiences teaching online/remote.