Crises can change everything in an instant. So much so that you may find yourself remote teaching in the blink of an eye if university and college campuses close.
And while online learning isn’t a new concept in the collegiate world, going completely remote might be new to you. It’s already a challenge to get students to show up to class in person, let alone keep their interest.
So, how do you keep them engaged? How do you keep them excited about class topics? And how do you continue nurturing a collaborative learning environment remotely? Short answer – use video.
You may not have a lecture hall or classroom right now, but you do have a webcam or phone. Your students signed up for this course because they wanted to learn from you. So, you, your expertise, and your guidance are what they need to thrive
By sending a video, you’ll be able to equip your students with the knowledge they need for their degrees more effectively. You’re giving them the education they paid for. You’re fostering a more relational learning experience.
Remote learning can be impersonal. Don’t let that be the case. Continue cultivating relationships with your students and colleagues with video. Here’s how you can do that:
Share Regular Class Updates and Important Announcements
Your announcement boards can get crammed easily while remote teaching if you’re posting class updates frequently. So, important announcements that your students need to know can get lost.
Then a test date comes that they didn’t know about. Or an assignment is due that they haven’t completed yet. These updates are critical to their final grades.
So, instead of having your students vigilantly hunt through all of your text announcements, kick off each week by posting a video message instead.
Explain important assignment and test dates to come, give them an idea of what they’ll be learning this week, keep them informed on campus-wide updates, and share any changes to the course syllabus.
That way your message doesn’t get lost in translation, and your class stays in the loop while remote learning.
See how Misty Hull, a psychology professor at Pikes Peak Community College, accomplishes this in the video below…
Launch and Encourage Course Discussions With Video
Online discussion boards have long been part of all college courses – for both remote and in-person classes. It’s how students can get in participation needed for final grades, and you can make sure they understand the concepts you’re teaching.
But you can launch the discussion more clearly and effectively with a video posted in the initial thread of the post. Record an introduction to the question or topic for discussion, and open it up to your students’ opinions or ideas.
Encourage them to comment on each other’s posts, and let them know their thoughts are valued. This will motivate them, so they’re more inclined to join the discussion.
Then you can recap highlights of the online class discussion in your next remote teaching session.
Provide Helpful Feedback
In-person office hours are likely canceled right now. Because of that, you’re probably swarmed with students wanting feedback on assignments, projects, term papers, theses, etc.
Remote learning is new to them, too, after all. However, the influx of virtual office hour requests may be too much to meet with each student before their assignments are due.
But you can still offer them the constructive face-to-face feedback they need in a scalable way by sending quick videos. Use a screen recorder to walk them through their work – telling them what you like, and what could use some improvement.
With video, you’re able to offer your input clearly with empathy, which is hard to do in a plain-text email. So, you’re able to steer them in the right direction if they missed the mark, or let them know if they are on the right track to success. And they’ll feel more confident and encouraged in the process.
Watch how Frank Schaller, a nursing assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University, offers feedback on a student’s paper with video…
Record or Upload Lectures to Send to Students
You’re likely already teaching with video as your classes go remote – whether it be through Zoom or WebEx. But sending a video email of the lecture recording is a great option for students who want to go back, review, and study these lectures (or those who weren’t able to attend the live video lecture).
If you want to prepare video lectures ahead of time, you can record it in Quicktime and upload the file to your video email account. This way – it won’t show as an attachment that is easily missed.
You can also pre-record shorter lectures while remote teaching to introduce your students to a new unit before diving deeper. That’s what Misty does in the following clip…
Offering that initial context will prepare your students for what’s to come in the lessons ahead.
Offer In-Depth Assignment Explanations
Assignments get difficult to explain with just text. You can post it to your remote teaching platform, but students are bound to request clarification or have questions. Especially if it’s a more complex assignment or project.
Using video, you’re able to guide your students through the assignment in a more detailed way – without having to type out a lengthy assignment explanation. You can even use the screen recorder to walk them through it step by step.
You can map out your expectations for what they turn in a lot more coherently on camera. So, they’re absolutely clear on what they need to turn in for a good grade.
Leslie, an English professor at Morningside College, issues her students their assignment in videos – like the one below…
Video is also great to communicate options for makeup assignments. See how Leslie does this, too.
Bonus: Video Advice for Coaches, Counselors, Advisors, and Administrators
• For counselors and advisors: Students will need your guidance more than ever as they start their remote learning. They can’t meet with you face to face, but you stay in touch with them via video.
Advise them on academic pathways and course plans for their respective majors more effectively with a video email. See how Shelley Molland, an education assistant professor and academic advisor at Morningside College, reaches out to her students…
You can also use a screen recorder to go over transcripts and academic requirements needed for their degrees.
• For administrators: Internal communication can be a struggle when your entire staff is teaching remote. But it doesn’t have to be.
Use video to keep your staff in the loop on campus-wide employee updates. Share resources and tools for remote teaching with a video message. And offer recommendations for virtual professional development workshops as they work from home.
• For coaches: Just because your athletes aren’t coming in to train, doesn’t mean they can’t do it from home.
Send them personal videos with workout plans and training schedules they can do remotely. Keep them updated on team plans. Offer them encouragement and motivate them – like Scott Caulfield, Director of Strength and Conditioning at Colorado College, does in this video…
That way they’ll still be on top of their game when campuses open again.
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You now know how to implement video in your remote teaching. And we’re here to support you every step of the way.
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