This is the last episode of The Monday Minute video series (my job got extended, but the series has ended for now). Thank you to everyone who interacted with the Open Space document, emailed questions/comments, dropped into my Zoom sessions, etc. I appreciate you all and wish you the best in your teaching endeavors.
Due to nonstop noise outside Carolyn’s apartment for the past four days, this episode of TMM is a 60-second activity with no video.
Five Fast Ideas:
Give students an opportunity to check grades on Blackboard before you submit to the registrar. Ideally, give them a few days to check their grade and contact you if there is a mistake; this will hopefully avoid you having to make changes after submitting.
Add feedback to All Our Ideas by clicking the choices you agree with and/or adding new options to the survey. Spend as little or as much time as you’d like clicking through choices: http://www.allourideas.org/GCCTMM
If you prefer a traditional survey format, add comments to the survey on the Open Space doc (labeled “Instructional Designer Feedback Request”).
Formal feedback: Google form, crowdsourcing tool like All Our Ideas, private comments, Blackboard survey, external survey software like SurveyMonkey
Informal feedback: Quick “temperature check” options such as using an emoji to signify a feeling, holding up cards on Zoom, sharing a gif, etc.
Navigating to survey (less clicks is better)
If you use a Likert scale (rate from 1-5), note that studies show that participants are unlikely to choose the two extremes. Consider a seven-point scale instead.
***Request: Carolyn appreciates your feedback regarding The Monday Minute series. She has included seven questions on the Open Space Document. Please type directly into this doc or add comments on the side. Thank you.***
Blackboard: “Survey” or “tests” tool
Google: Google Forms, Docs, or Jamboard (Forms would allow you to see results in graph form, Docs would allow students to see each other’s anonymous feedback and build off one another, Jamboard would create a sort of class whiteboard)
Keep it simple. Some form of what’s working, what’s not, what they like, what they’d improve.
1. What are the strongest features of this course and of my teaching? In other words, what contributes most to your learning?
2. What specific suggestions do you have for changes that I can make to improve the course or how it is taught?
3. Is the pace of the course: too fast just right too slow?
Give options. Tell students to leave at least X number of comments, so they can choose which questions to answer.
Please add your own ideas for lesson presentation on the Open Space doc.
Referenced In These Slides:
Creating A Google Slides Room:
Choose a background. Use the image search feature in Google slides, or upload your own image. Remember: You can’t add alt text to backgrounds, so don’t include anything pertinent to the lesson!
Add transparent images. Use the term “transparent” or “png” in your searches to find images without backgrounds/borders, or use remove.bg.
Insert hyperlinks. You’ve ideally decided on lesson material *before* this step. Now add necessary links to your “room.” Tip: For easier clicking, insert a transparent shape (& transparent border) over the area you want students to click, then embed your hyperlink on the shape.
Launch the room! Click “Share,” change the parameters to “anyone with the link can view,” copy the URL, then replace the word “view” or “edit” with “preview” in the URL. This will automatically open the slide in presentation mode, making it more engaging.
Using Google Forms:
Create a theme: Make a regular form more exciting by giving it a theme. Add images (with descriptions) and text that will support the narrative you create.
Use sections: Use chunking by splitting the form into different sections
Collect responses: You can download responses as a spreadsheet, or just read through them on the form itself.
You prepare a great lesson and class goes well, but the following week the students seem to have forgotten all that they learned. What’s happening? Perhaps they’re missing the opportunity to practice retrieving information.
Please add your own ideas for chunking and/or video presentation to the Open Space doc.
Referenced in This Video:
Miller, G. A. (1994). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 101(2), 343–352.
Studies suggest our short-term memory can hold an average of four chunks of information at once.
Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Cowan, N., Zwilling, C. E., Morey, C. C., & Pratte, M. S. (2008). An assessment of fixed-capacity models of visual working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(16), 5975-5979.
Ideas for video presentations:
Include a rundown of topics at the start of the video
Add timestamps in the video description if possible
In addition to chunking your topics, consider chunking the video itself:
Add digital transitions if you know how (if you have a Mac, iMovie makes this easy)
Break up the lecture-nature of the video with:
Moments where your face is not on screen
Audio/visual surprises/disruptions (change volume level or appearance, add a dramatic pause, emphasize words, task challenges, Easter eggs, etc.)
Use hand gestures and facial expressions to make the visual aspect of your video more engaging
Shorter is better – if you have to make a long video, add disruptions.
Remember, you don’t need to fill all your class time with a video. Consider Open Educational Resources (pre-existing videos, podcasts, etc.), reflection questions, task challenges, discussion, etc.
Please add your own ideas for providing clear course navigation in the Open Space doc.
Ideas Mentioned in Video:
Pin a “Quick Start Guide” in an easy-to-access place that students visit often (such as the course landing page).
Students may get overwhelmed when presented with too much information at once. Use the “Adaptive Release” feature on Blackboard so that not all information is available up front.
If you use Google Docs for your syllabus, use a black highlighter to cover information that isn’t relevant this early in the semester. This allows students who do like to know everything up front to check what’s coming by highlighting over it, while those who are overwhelmed by too much information don’t need to access it yet.
Think of your course like you would if you wanted someone to bake muffins or travel to a destination. What information do they need?
Quick Start Guide ideas:
The screenshot below is from a template I created for professors. ***I realize a screenshot is not fully accessible; if anyone reading this would like access to the entire Blackboard course template, email me at Carolyn.Stallard@guttman.cuny.edu***
Another example: Here is one version I’ve used for my courses. I also use a sort of delayed “quick start” video that I post after students have a handle on how the course functions, as a reminder. I send this video out at the end of Week 3, after all information on the syllabus has been un-blackened. Take this with a grain of salt, since my courses are set up in a kind of atypical manner.
Idea: Incorporate a stretch break into your videos and/or written instructions (avoid ableism when doing so).
Idea: Add non-course-related questions to quizzes or tests, such as asking students to share a song they enjoy or choosing from a list of activities such as exercising for five minutes, cooking something new, connecting with a family member, or taking a walk outside (if they can do so safely).
Idea: What is one small thing you can add to your course to be the equivalent of making one’s bed in the morning? Something small and achievable is the first step to success.