Crowd-sourcing from the AC Community

Ideas and Resources to Support Each Other and Give Our Students the Best Possible Learning Experience

As a faculty body you are in a unique position, teaching students from across campus disciplines, often freshmen-seniors in one class, focussed within a social justice curriculum in the time of a pandemic, lockdown, and international re-engagement with systemic racism. Your advice on how to engage students, especially at this time, is invaluable. Below, we have compiled advice from all instructors to help you best meet your learning objectives. If you would like to contribute information to this page, please email americancultures at berkeley.edu.

Photograph of Abigail De Kosnik

Gail's Guide to Remote Teaching Fall 2020

Gail's Guide to Remote Teaching Fall 2020 documents not only my best practices for remote instruction but a range of techniques and tactics developed by other faculty members and GSIs. The guide is live, so she continually updates it as more useful practices are discovered. 

Julia's Guide to Assessing Student Learning in a Virtual Environment

Julia created learning objectives for her summer course, Linguistics 155AC, as part of a project to think about different ways of assessing student learning in the virtual environment. Julia is happy to further discuss these objectives with any current or future AC faculty.

Quick Tips from Kenneth Worthy

  1. Try to do at least some of your course synchronously (live over zoom), but provide a way out for students for whom this is a hardship due to technical or timezone issues. I set up a google form at the beginning of the term that they can fill out to tell me what issues they have but also request to opt-out of synchronous lecture or DIS.
  2. When students are given recorded lectures to view, you'll probably want to have some kind of assessment (e.g. short quiz) to confirm they've viewed it (by a particular time in your schedule). That way they won't defer them and get behind.
  3. Realize that due to the pandemic you'll likely be encountering many more student challenges than usual. I've had students hospitalized from the pandemic but more often family members, particularly parents, hospitalized. They'll need some of your compassion and flexibility to get through it. Maybe account for increased labor to accommodate students in the time you expect to spend on the course.
  4. Many have a hard time with technology reliability. Building in flexibility helps. What if a student has good equipment for synchronous participation, but their equipment or internet access degrades or fails at some point in the semester and it takes days or weeks for them to recover?
  5. Show them your humanity in recognizing that this is a difficult (and unpleasant) time for most of us, but particularly difficult, sometimes extremely so, for many others.
  6. Give additional warnings and provide more clarity on academic integrity and what's at stake with that, but also remind them that we know that the vast majority of students never violate academic integrity and are honest (and thus stimulate peer influence this way).
  7. It's an election year in the U.S. How will you get students involved? Extra credit for registering to vote? Also extra credit for voting? Extra credit for advocacy work?
  8. Get in touch with other instructors if you're uncertain about how to approach something.