Creativity requires a tinkering mindset and the persistence to go through iterations in order to achieve excellence. All the digital pedagogy examples highlighted here exemplify these characteristics in our faculty. Teaching remotely during the pandemic has been universally challenging. Under these trying circumstances, faculty have applied digital pedagogy practices that foster student engagement and strengthen student learning in a remote environment. These examples provide snapshots of how faculty members are striving to provide an equitable learning experience for all students.
Check out the examples below from the Amherst classroom.
Resilient Course Design using Video-based Microlectures
Professor Hall created a large library of video-based microlectures to replace his in-class lectures, and designed a flipped course. The microlectures were used to build an asynchronous, self-directed learning experience for the students, with synchronous online discussions of the content providing continuity and engagement. Professor Hall used an iPad to write out equations and demonstrate concepts, and used Kaltura to share the videos in Moodle and provide captions. While this bank of videos is now an amazing resource for future classes, the amount of time and energy necessary upfront to create such a large library proved challenging.
Co-Teaching an Interdisciplinary HyFlex Course
Professors Jagannathan and Contreras designed creative approaches to co-teaching a course in a HyFlex context, where some students were in class and other students were online. Using a specially-equipped lecture hall, they used multiple camera angles and microphones to provide remote students with a clear view of experiments. Recording the sessions with Zoom allowed students to review the demonstrations again after class. Teaching in this model has required patient tinkering with the classroom technology and Zoom.
Reimagining Teaching: Art History through HyFlex
A key component of teaching art history is displaying images to students in high resolution. This is very difficult to do in an online environment. Professor Courtright is teaching two courses remotely this semester, but many students are on-campus and meet in a lecture hall to view her presentations on a high-definition projector. Courtright has created a three-monitor setup in her home, which allows her to see her presentation on one screen, her notes on another, and the students’ faces on the third.
An on-campus assistant that attends each class session is required to set up the classroom projection and troubleshoot during presentations. This semester, classroom support was provided by Maria Stenzel, Amherst’s College Photographer. Maria produced the following two videos.
Teaching Music Online - Video Assignments for Self-Regulated Learning
Teaching a music course remotely is a challenge, but Professor Harper was able to expand his use of Moodle (which was highly sophisticated even pre-COVID) to create a transparent assignment design for reviewing and providing feedback on performance-based work. Students worked independently and submitted video assignments via the video platform Kaltura, which is integrated with Moodle. They also were able to submit handwritten music notation (scanned or created on an iPad) for the same assignment.
Watch Examples of Student Submissions (AC Login Required)