Effective Teaching for Summer 2020

Teaching in the summer 2020 semester may bring many changes to your usual approach. For students new to Penn State, virtual learning will be their introduction to the Penn State experience. Faculty members and instructors are key to providing students a robust experience in virtual classrooms.  

Now that summer 2020 at Penn State has moved to virtual education, there are several scenarios you may be facing: 

  • If you were already planning to teach a WEB RI course, your teaching plans can remain the same.
  • If you were already planning to teach an online course, your teaching plans can remain the same.
  • If you were planning to teach a face-to-face course, you will need to make adjustments in your teaching plans.

Moving to Virtual Delivery

First, your face-to-face course will need to be developed in Canvas for either online asynchronous delivery (no required meeting times) or remote synchronous delivery (required meeting times). 

Which delivery approach is best and whether you have a choice will vary by department and college, but the criteria include:

  • Which approach best serves the students’ learning outcomes?
  • Which approach has existing content? 
  • What is the instructional design need and available capacity?

Faculty and instructors can receive instructional design help to transition face-to-face courses to online or remote teaching.

Once your course is designed and ready to go, you need to plan how to teach it, and that involves a set of competencies and skills that may be new to you. The following information can help you learn tips and principles to for effective online and remote instruction.

There is no one best way for faculty to learn. You seek out resources and support in many different places and ways. In essence, you each have your own pathways to learning about teaching. You can choose the pathway that is best for you below.

Four Faculty Pathways to Learning 

As you think about how to teach your summer course, consider using one or more of the following resources.

“Learn on Your Own” Resources  

These resources are for faculty who prefer to learn on their own, with a “give me the information and I’ll apply what works for me” approach? 

“Talk with a Colleague” Resources 

These resources are for those who prefer to talk through things with colleagues or someone with expertise in learning or course design in the online space. Options below offer synchronous and asynchronous discussion opportunities with faculty who may have the same questions or solutions. 

“Explore Links and the Web” Resources 

These resources are for instructors who prefer to do their own web research, exploring links and making conceptual and practical connections.

“Do a Deeper Dive” Resources 

These resources are for those who prefer a directed and structured learning experience, either self-guided and/or instructor-led.