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TEACH Symposiuim

TEACH Symposium returning soon

The TEACH Symposium will pop up again November 30 to December 4, 2020. 

Learn more

Class Activities

Girl talking in class

One of the most challenging, yet interesting pieces to think about is what students actually do in online classes. While some things can be partially recreated in Zoom--the discussion session, the lecture, the breakout rooms--many instructors will not fail to have noted that classes online don't feel the same. An in-person class, taught online, is very different from a class designed to be taught online.

The more that we can think about how online learning presents new opportunities for new learning situations, the more that we can design engaging teaching experiences for everyone. This section takes you into the nitty-gritty to help you plan your lessons. 

  • Find a Mix of Synchronous and Asynchronous Teaching. Consider how to design which activities you teach "in real time" (i.e. synchronous time) and which activities you design for students to complete at their own pace (i.e. in asynchronous time). 
  • Setting Norms. How do you work with students to establish some clear norms and expectations for online learning? How do you and your students get on the same page about what it means to learn online? This page offers some tips to support clear expectation-setting in a class from the start.
  • Build Community. A major concern for many instructors pivoting to online teaching is that building community without hallway chatter or in-person meetings may seem impossible. We offer some tips on ways that you and your students can build community in a fully virtual environment.
  • Engaging Activities. Looking for a few quick examples of activities that engage students online? We offer a curated set of our Teaching Articles that may jumpstart some of your thinking on ways to get students learning actively.

Quick Tip: Try this Lesson Plan template from the Stanford CTL's Kritika Yegnashankaran to help focus activities around the course learning goals.