Course Outline Template
OISE has revised the course outline template to address considerations related to COVID-19. We have input information specific to the MT program. Please use this as your base template.
We have also included some additional suggestions or recommendations for how you might further develop your syllabus in our current context.
Course Outline Template (COVID-19 Revised)
All of us enter the world of online teaching with differing levels of experience and knowledge. Some of us may have taught very successfully in a completely asynchronous environment. The decision-making around when and how to include synchronous learning experiences will vary course by course and by instructor; from a brief synchronous opening time in the first and final classes (to support social presence, class community and teacher presence), to more regular synchronous portions of classes for modelling and interaction, possibly in a curriculum course.
Synchronous Time Online
Synchronous time, when students log in at the same time to contribute to a task or conversation, can contribute to accomplishing important objectives:
Maintaining social presence and sense of learning community.
Clarifying activities/expectations for the week (as teacher presence helps keep students on track).
A way to check in: based on the research and expertise of our colleagues, we ask that you include a synchronous opportunity at the beginning of the course, possibly in collaboration with the person who is teaching the same cohort, one at the midpoint and one at the end of the course for synthesis.
This element is particularly valuable for checking in with students and an opportunity for sharing their situation and concerns—many may be anxious about the switch to online, which adds to their overall stress. At this particular period of time, community and connection seem even more important.
This session: include a synchronous element.
We also ask that you consider that synchronous learning requires access to reliable internet, a device and a relatively quiet learning environment. We realize that many of our candidates are in shared living arrangements with multiple responsibilities and may be ‘competing’ for bandwidth and uninterrupted time.
Note: holding full 3 hour synchronous classes is not encouraged.
Please hold any synchronous portions the 9-12 and 1 – 4 time slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
As you are planning, guard against a need to “fill’ the time or replicate f2f experiences. Instead, it is recommended that you think in terms of hours of work and consider a similar workload of 3 hours of class with 1-2 hours of preparation and follow-up each week, recognizing that assignments will require additional time.
In your workload considerations it may be helpful to keep in mind: online learning can increase time and attention needed from the learner by a factor of 4.
For example, if candidates are creating online responses, consider the time needed both for reading as well as writing responses in online discussion threads.
If you want to have a chat about structuring your course in a simple and clear way, please get in touch with our Teaching and Learning Support team. Contact Us
Instructional And Assessment Planning Considerations – just the beginning…
If you are planning to have asynchronous class discussions, we suggest you have students working in smaller groups to limit the demands on time to keep up with reading notes.
Groups can be slightly larger than what we might consider for face to face groups, but somewhere in the range of 6 to 8 people would probably be ideal depending on the nature of the task.
If you would like to include group presentations as assignments, there are some important things to consider in their design. Students can collaborate to prepare the physical presentation (e.g., co-creation of slides).
In order to “deliver” the presentation, they could do one of two things:
1) students could present synchronously via something like Zoom (you can adjust settings to allow students to share their screens); or
2) the students might present as a pre-recorded video using a tool that supports collaborative video editing (Adobe Spark is a fairly simple tool to use…but the co-editing requires a laptop or desktop).
Other options might be to collaborate on the creation of the slides but then agree that one person will do the final audio recording and uploading (which can be done using something like Powerpoint or a screen capture software).
Another way is that they can use something like Zoom to open a meeting, they all join and one person records the session and uploads on behalf of the group.
There are of course constraints on what a student can deliver in an online presentation, but there are ways to make it interactive either synchronously or asynchronously (probably easier to do if it’s synchronous).
Considering the number of presentations and the duration of each will increase the amount of time students need to be online at the same time. This could be mitigated by say having all students present to the instructor, but only presenting to a small group of peers (so students are maybe only expected to be present for their own presentation and one other group).