More than 1,800 teachers have taken UTeach's online Blended Learning courses. Although remote learning is different from blended learning, many of the resources used for blended learning may also be applied to remote instruction.
This is a time of extreme change and anxiety for everyone. In our experience, one key approach can help you, your students, and their caregivers: Please be kind to yourself and your students by keeping it simple.
UTeach conducted collaborative webinars in the spring and summer of 2020. Below are some of the ideas educators shared in the webinars. Here are five areas of focus to help guide strong remote instruction:
Instructional videos are an engaging way to share content while supporting self-paced learning in both synchronous and asynchronous settings. When creating instructional videos, please be mindful of ways to engage students and hold them accountable for interacting with the information provided throughout the video. Consider using a tool to create personal videos that include the teacher’s voice and/or image or use an app that allows teachers to personalize videos by adding interactive elements throughout. Student responses from the embedded activities can then be reviewed by the teacher.
Try to keep videos to a minimal length. This article from EdX discusses a 6-minute video length. You might also encourage students to create their own videos to communicate understanding and collaborate with peers.
The following are some of the tools that our UTeach Blended Learning Participants use to create instructional videos:
Here are commonly used apps for personalizing instructional videos:
YouTube Video Editor
Create interactive lessons that engage students and encourage active participation in both synchronous and asynchronous settings. When planning interactive lessons, remember to integrate strategies that encourage students to share their own ideas and demonstrate understanding. Consider using tools to transform static presentation slides into engaging experiences by adding polls, quizzes, open-ended questions, and surveys. Online games, small group discussions and breakout sessions are also great strategies to engage students. Finally, interactive lessons may be live or self-paced, depending on the design of the lesson.
Personalized Learning Plans
Creating a Personalized Learning Plan involves designing customized lessons and activities to accommodate individual students’ learning path and pace. Customized lessons should incorporate blended learning strategies to facilitate student content mastery. As students work through personalized learning pathways, assessments should be embedded throughout and continual feedback provided. Prior to embarking on a personalized learning pathway, teachers should collect and integrate academic and non-academic data about each student. Discussions should take place with each student to determine personal learning goals and pathways to ensure the proper channels are in place to meet individual goals. Teachers are encouraged to align each student’s learning goals and pathways to academic standards and expected learning outcomes. The content and accompanying blended learning activities should be created in advance.
Review the two models showcased: choice boards (menus) and playlists or you can create your own personalized learning templates to use for remote instruction.
Links to information related to both models have been provided or you may conduct your own research to support the development of choice boards and/or playlists to implement in remote instruction.
Information related to creating Choice Boards (Menus):
Information related to creating Personalized Playlists:
Eportfolio With Google Sites
Create discussions for students to interact with in an online setting. Make sure the discussion relates to relevant learning content that is presently being covered. Discussions should include critical thinking questions that support collaboration amongst students. Be specific with your expectations for the discussion.
To support meaningful discussions, you might include the following: 1) discussion prompt 2) critical thinking questions embedded in the discussion 3) opportunities for student-student interaction 4) a reflection of the outcome of the discussion.
Create online assessments that incorporate digital resources to assess understanding. Online assessments allow the teacher to measure student understanding and then analyze the student data to inform future instruction. Implementing online assessments helps teachers identify learning gaps to then personalize instruction in remote settings.