Teaching in the Fall
- Fall 2020 Courses at Texas A&M
- College of Agriculture & Life Sciences COVID-19 related Frequently Asked Questions List
- Contact the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Office of the Dean
Remote/Online Teaching Resources
- Working remotely
- TAMU & College resources
TAMU Policies & Procedures
- Face Coverings
- Texas A&M’s Coronavirus update page
- COVID-19 Testing, Tracing and Reporting
- Students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are required to self-report through the COVID-19 Report Form.
COVID-19 Testing Facilities
Request assistance/support for online course conversion or assessment
We have also assembled a group of colleagues/faculty with a wide range of experience and expertise in the area of online learning and online assessment methods that would be available for support. Simply fill out the form below with your information, your question or your support need and we will get someone in touch with you to help.
Articles and References
- “How to Make Your Online Pivot Less Brutal” by Dr. Kevin Gannon
- “Moving Online Now” – A collection of articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education
- “Coping with Coronavirus” – A collection of articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education
- “How to Quickly (and Safely) Move a Lab Course Online” – by Heather Taft, Chronicle of Higher Education
Insights from COALS faculty and experts
Perspectives to consider when moving classes online – Dr. Julie Harlin, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
I met with several faculty recently about moving courses online. Here are some perspectives to consider if you find you are in this situation…
- Give up on teaching your class the way you always have. The sooner you can let go of the notion of students tuning in from 12:45-2:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and giving two more exams, the better off you will be.
- Realize that students are not in town and likely do not have great connectivity. They are also dealing with family who may be ill, have a loss of income, and are generally stressed and upset by all these changes. Expecting them to tune in at a specific time is difficult at best. Asynchronous delivery has some advantages in these crisis situations. It isn’t worse than synchronous delivery, just different. Embrace the new.
- Reconsider your talking head for three hours a week. Consider giving students material to read, summarize, create an info graphic, etc. Engagement can look very different in an online environment. That is not just OK, it can be awesome.
- A talking head takes a lot of bandwidth, especially when recorded for long periods of time. Consider short videos (5 minutes or less), posting content in text or ppt files, and using synchronous class time Zoom sessions to discuss and answer questions from students. Record these (I recommend saving to your computer rather than the cloud for immediate access) and post the recording for students who were unable to attend.
- Consider setting intermediate time lines for doing readings, watching videos, etc. and selective release of your materials (having available for a full week).
- Rather than two big exams with 100 questions each, consider breaking information into smaller chunks, with smaller exams or more focused activities.
- Consider windows of time for availability of exams and quizzes rather than just during your class period. Giving some room for connectivity issues will make your life easier in the long run.
- Remember that flexibility is key. You didn’t sign up to move your course online in the middle of the semester. Your students didn’t sign up to switch to an online course in the middle of the semester. Practicing some flexibility, grace, and kindness goes a long way. Imagine if your own child, niece, or nephew were in your class–are you treating them as you would want your family members to be treated?
- Be creative. Think about assessing in ways that are appropriate for what you want students to learn. Sadly, we typically state higher level learning outcomes but assess with a low level multiple choice exam.
- Recognize that this isn’t the usual semester and do your best to make the tools you have work to your advantage. Fancy isn’t necessary. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.
- One of the principles of universal design is that what is good for one student is good for all. Captioning, sharing notes and presentation materials, and videos are good practices that help your students with documented disabilities as well as everyone else in your class.
- Rely on those with experience and expertise. We are here to have these conversations and help you learn the tools you need to survive the semester.
Sample introduction, setting expectations and being successful in an online class – Dr. Doug Kingman, Instructional Associate Professor, Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Doug Kingman made and shared this video with one of his classes as a means to introduce them to the new situation and to share with them tips on being successful in on-line learning. It is about 8 minutes long, but contains a lot of information that will hopefully make students more comfortable with the new norm. It’s a great example of a simple way to set expectations and help a class prepare to adjust to this new way of teaching/learning.