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Tips for Planning Winter 2023 Teaching and Learning

Mon Dec 12, 2022 at 07:30 AM

While this is not necessarily a comprehensive list, it can provide a structure for many of the planning items to attend to for winter 2023. Make a copy of this checklist, and add additional notes and items specific to your needs.

Many of these items are similar to our previous planning tips, but we emphasize ways to elevate care and support amid uncertainty. Part of that care and support is attending to those things that motivate learning and boost our energy and wellbeing.

  • Plan upcoming courses by reflecting on the most recent semester. Do a 15-minute reflection to recognize the successes and shortcomings of the semester while they are fresh in your mind. 
  • Prepare for a new and improved Moodle. Moodle will go through a noticeable upgrade on December 19, 2022. While it will look different, previous Moodle courses will be maintained and it will overall have the same functions. Review the Moodle 4.0 Updates Quick Reference, which includes screen shots and videos, and sign up for a Moodle 4.0 Update Workshop
  • Use the syllabus to help guide course planning. The OU Syllabus Template includes updated guidance on affordable course texts, HyFlex, and continued student support and resources.
  • Plan for uncertainty, with remote options for some or all students (and yourself). While COVID has been generally less disruptive in recent months, remote options may be needed for yourself and students due to illness, weather, and other emergencies. Consider what you would have to do to conduct class sessions online, perhaps in consultation with e-LIS instructional designers, and have this backup plan in place. 
  • Cut, simplify, and leave space for motivation. Many faculty have shared that students have been overwhelmed and have struggled. Re-evaluate the quantity, quality, and organization of assignments to get the most out of students’ available bandwidth. Also consider ways to boost motivation by allowing students more choice and agency in their assignments, or by actively engaging students in class. See ideas shared in our recent Course Planning Quick Note.
  • Before the semester begins, send a welcome message to students, clarifying when and where classes will be meeting (if having synchronous sessions). Some students may still be getting used to a variety of class formats. If possible, also guide students to your syllabus and Moodle course so that they can prepare accordingly. Using the Announcements forum in Moodle automatically emails anyone registered for your class and provides links to the Moodle course. (If your Moodle course is not ready, consider hiding all content except for the basic course info. Doing this instead of hiding the whole course will help avoid student confusion.)
  • Get an early idea of who your students are. Asking students to fill out a simple form will help you move from hypothetical situations to working with the students you have. Use and adapt this Preparing for the Semester Google Form.
  • If teaching in the classroom, visit the classroom ahead of time to review the layout and available supplies and technology. More general purpose classrooms are updating their technology, so it helps to not only become familiar with it but consider your options for recording and live streaming courses. See CSITS’s website for programs available in general purpose classrooms.
  • Get everyone moving in class, such as by doing jigsaw group activities and gallery walks. Create scenarios, labs, and other active learning situations that connect students to the actions and objects of their craft. See more formats and planning in our Keeping Students Engaged Guide.

View a Google Doc version of this teaching tip

Written and designed by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NCView all CETL Weekly Teaching Tips.