What I’m doing is similar to a flipped classroom, except the conversations will be happening in a video conference on Zoom. The work is done outside the conference.

Mini-lectures are videos, saved to the cloud and accessible whenever students need them. I use Screenflow software to make the lectures and I close-caption them within the app. Happy to create a demo for Screenflow if anyone wants to learn how to use it.

I’m using YouTube for posting my videos.

No video is longer than 5 minutes, whenever possible, for both physical and mental bandwidth. Example: assignment instructions with explanation and annotation, attached to a discussion topic where students can ask and answer each other’s questions and I can jump in as needed. Example: demo tutorial in a slide deck with notes and audio.

All handouts and readings are machine-readable and ADA compliant. I have a separate Google account for all of my BCC courses and use that as the repository for all my teaching materials. I copy and paste links to Canvas for assignment guides or anything longer than a page. I do this so that I can more easily and quickly update these guides.

I use a lot of discussion topics and reflection; discussion topics work like chat boards or texting.

Digital peer review using Google Docs commenting, since it is much easier to use and less buggy than Canvas peer review.

Students required to log in for the first 30 minutes of the traditional class time. For me, that’s 9:30 am to 10:00 am pacific time, Monday. The video conference is required but all a student needs to do is send me an email explaining why they can’t make it, and set up an alternate time if they need to talk to me. I give students time frames when they can contact me. Our formerly on campus class also met on Wednesdays, same time, so I designate that time as drop-in office hours. Only show up if you need help. Otherwise, it isn’t required, but if they do show up, they get 10 points of extra credit for each time they show up to get help with their writing, up to 10 visits. That’s an easy 100 points of extra credit and most show up.

I take attendance but I don’t mark folks late, and we cannot penalize for attendance anyway, so its more of a formality.

Students must have their camera on but video conferences are not be recorded to provide privacy for students. The rationale is that we would see their faces in the physical classroom, so I see no reason why we can’t see their faces in Zoom. BTW, Zoom meetings are password protected and I use the Waiting Room feature. I also use breakout rooms for discussions, put students into small groups to chat, and then bring them back to the main meeting for a final roundup of the discussion.

At the very least, I do a quick once-around the “room” and everyone has to talk, on camera, about their week. If they don’t know what to say, I ask them to share one thing that was scary, and one thing that was a funny. Many of them just want to talk to somebody besides their parents, their partner, their kids, or their pets.

I’ve quite a bit of success with this. Of the 27 students in my formerly on-campus section of English 5, twenty to twenty-five students show up.

Students who are in other time zones can set up a one-to-one conference with me at a mutually agreed upon time if they cannot make the regular class time. We also do this for office hours.

Phone controls for participants in meetings who can only log in by phone: The following commands can be entered via DTMF tones using your phone’s dial pad while in a Zoom meeting:

        • *6 – Toggle mute/unmute
        • *9 – Raise hand

Set a self-care schedule so you don’t feel like you have to be online 24/7. I do this even when teaching F2F classes. 
For me, that’s M/W/Tu/Thu 11-4 available for outside of class meetings on Zoom; 15 minute meetings — focused on revision of high-stakes writing assignments, with a little time to visit and vent. I’ve been letting students vent about life in SiP and it really helps them feel like they’re still part of the class, still human.
I do not answer student or business email except during 9-5, Monday thru Thursday. 
I use the dictation feature on my Mac to do most of my typing because I’m developing arthritis from years of keyboarding.
I gave students this extra credit project and they are LOVING it.
My general rule of thumb for engagement: Give extra credit assignments that don’t suck too much of your own time but give students a chance to be creative, think outside the box, and have some fun.
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