The coronavirus travel ban in China has had a significant impact on the Australian higher education sector. With almost two-thirds of Chinese international students unable to return to Australia for the start of the semester, universities are being faced with a range of tough decisions to make. From postponing semester start dates to providing intensive courses; universities are looking for options that minimise the disruptions to students’ lives and learning.
Online teaching has become an important consideration for most universities; however, with the pressure of tight timelines, making courses more accessible to students online is no easy feat. Teachers need to shift to more asynchronous methods of teaching, no longer having the luxury of face-to-face interactions with students. Making changes to a subject or course, or even finding the appropriate technology to deliver solutions becomes a challenge.
With all this in mind, we’ve compiled a few ideas for shifting your existing content and assessments online with Cadmus. They work together with other online teaching initiatives, like sharing lecture recordings or utilising discussion boards, by providing more opportunities for student engagement with the content. They enable teachers to continue delivering formative learning activities and assessments without causing drastic changes to workload or processes.
First, the important details: With China’s firewall restrictions, the accessibility online services has been in question. Since the announcement of China relaxing internet restrictions, there is greater confidence that students will be able to access online learning portals.
The good news is, if your students can access the LMS in China, they can access Cadmus.
If your tutorials involve written exercises and in-class discussions, you can transfer these into a series of online assignments with Cadmus. After a tutorial, set up a Cadmus assignment and attach a recording of the discussion, as well as any other materials as resources. (Remember to consider streaming services accessible in China). Get students to complete the activities or write a response to the topics of discussion. When they submit, you can quickly check off that students are keeping up with content, while tracking engagement with resources.
We’re often unaware of how much scaffolding occurs naturally as we teach in person. With fewer teacher interactions, students learning online need extra scaffolding to complete tasks successfully. Cadmus Templates provide task instructions for a range of assessment types, all with scaffolded checklists for students to follow. Supplemented with educative resources, they create a positive online assessment experience for students. Learn more about templates.
Even with less in-class interaction, students still expect plenty of opportunities for feedback. When teaching online, it’s important to proactively create opportunities for feedback. Since Cadmus allows for draft submissions, you can provide timely formative feedback to help students stay on track. And with the Cadmus-Turnitin integration, you’ll be able to give feedback on student submissions using Feedback Studio. You can utilise the functionality of Feedback Studio for QuickMarks or quickly recording audio feedback. Or to save time, you can provide high-level group feedback to the cohort after reviewing submissions.
With uncertainty around semester timings dates and when students will be able to return, you can set yourself up for easy management of inevitable special consideration requests. By creating your assignments in Cadmus, you can individually grant extensions to students as the need arises, simplifying the online submission process for you and your students.
With a few new ideas in your online teaching toolkit, we hope the transition into the 2020 teaching period can be a little less stressful. For more information on using Cadmus for online teaching, or support managing the impact of student absences in your classes, contact our team.
Head of Teacher Education
Main Illustration by Icons 8
Deakin University academic Ross Monaghan shares some advice for fellow teachers considering exam alternatives in light of recent COVID-19 changes to teaching.
Our Teaching Guides are designed to give you the ideas and strategies you need to elevate your teaching and improve student learning.