Don’t just assign crap. Questions to consider in this bizarre time.

Many of us are now suddenly faced with distance learning situations. So, here are some ideas to consider when teaching from home (these work for sub plans or long-term school closures). Fortunately, there are a ton of great resources being generated online and shared out there right now. Join social media groups for your professional organizations to get access to ideas and plans.

But then, consider these questions to help guide you in choosing what will work best for your own context:

  • What unique needs do I have for this teaching situation?
  • Will this assignment actually help my students learn anything?
  • Does all learning need to look the same for each student?
  • Do my assignments need to be standardized?
  • Does my grading include productive feedback or just numerical assignment?
  • What are some things I always say I wish I had time to do with my students?¬†
  • Am I creating an assignment that might be done by one student, but handed in by an entire class?
  • Why am I assigning this?
  • Am I giving students opportunities and support to direct their own learning?
  • Am I only providing instruction through one avenue or are there ways to address different learning preferences?
  • How can I frame an assignment to support students to take risks and therefore create learning opportunities?
  • What are my contractual obligations and how can I fulfill them?
  • Have I balanced the quality of the assignment with the reality of work-load/feedback responsibilities?
  • How can I honor the teacher/student relationship best with online learning?

These are trying times, friends. Reach out to trusted friends and colleagues to talk through these questions and good luck!


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